Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Liquid crystal molecules form nano rings: Quantized self-assembly enables design of materials with novel properties

Cutaway-view into a largely self-organised liquid crystal in a nanopore.
CREDIT
Credit: A. Zantop/M. Mazza/K. Sentker/P. Huber, Max-Planck Institut für Dynamik und Selbstorganisation/Technische Universität Hamburg (TUHH)
Cutaway-view into a largely self-organised liquid crystal in a nanopore. CREDIT Credit: A. Zantop/M. Mazza/K. Sentker/P. Huber, Max-Planck Institut für Dynamik und Selbstorganisation/Technische Universität Hamburg (TUHH)

Abstract:
At DESY's X-ray source PETRA III, scientists have investigated an intriguing form of self-assembly in liquid crystals: When the liquid crystals are filled into cylindrical nanopores and heated, their molecules form ordered rings as they cool - a condition that otherwise does not naturally occur in the material. This behavior allows nanomaterials with new optical and electrical properties, as the team led by Patrick Huber from Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) reports in the journal Physical Review Letters.

Liquid crystal molecules form nano rings: Quantized self-assembly enables design of materials with novel properties

Hamburg, Germany | Posted on February 7th, 2018

The scientists had studied a special form of liquid crystals that are composed of disc-shaped molecules called discotic liquid crystals. In these materials, the disk molecules can form high, electrically conductive pillars by themselves, stacking up like coins. The researchers filled discotic liquid crystals in nanopores in a silicate glass. The cylindrical pores had a diameter of only 17 nanometers (millionths of a millimeter) and a depth of 0.36 millimeters.

There, the liquid crystals were heated to around 100 degrees Celsius and then cooled slowly. The initially disorganised disk molecules formed concentric rings arranged like round curved columns. Starting from the edge of the pore, one ring after the other gradually formed with decreasing temperature until at about 70 degrees Celsius the entire cross section of the pore was filled with concentric rings. Upon reheating, the rings gradually disappeared again.

"This change of the molecular structure in confined liquid crystals can be monitored with X-ray diffraction methods as a function of temperature and with high accuracy," says co-author and DESY scientist Milena Lippmann, who prepared and participated in the experiments at the High-Resolution Diffraction Beamline P08 at PETRA III. "The combination of symmetry and confinement gives rise to unexpected, new phase transitions," says Marco Mazza from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen where the process was modelled with computer simulations. For this purpose, MPI scientist Arne Zantop devised a theoretical and numerical model for the nanoconfined liquid crystals that confirmed the experimental results and helps to interpret them.

The individual rings formed stepwise at characteristic temperatures. "This makes it possible to turn individual nano rings on and off by small changes in temperature," emphasises main author Kathrin Sentker from TUHH. She had noticed this phenomenon through surprisingly step-like signal changes in laser-optical experiments. While such quantised changes usually only occur at very low temperatures, the liquid crystal system shows this quantum behavior already well above room temperature.

As the opto-electrical properties of discotic liquid crystals change with the formation of molecular columns, the nanopore-confined variant is a promising candidate for the design of new optical metamaterials with properties that can be controlled stepwise through temperature. The investigated nanostructures could also lead to new applications in organic semiconductors, such as temperature-switchable nanowires, explains co-author Andreas Schönhals from the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM), the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, who is interested in the thermal and electrical properties of these systems.

"The phenomenon constitutes a fine example how versatile soft matter can adapt to extreme spatial constraints and how this can lead to new insights in physics as well as new design and control principles for the self-organisation of functional nanomaterials," explains principal investigator Huber.

###

Scientists from Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and from Czestochowa University of Technology in Poland were also involved in this study. Sentker and Huber are members of the Collaborative Research Initiative SFB 986 "Multi-Scale Materials Systems" dedicated to the design of materials with tailor-made mechanical, electrical, and photonic properties. It brings together the materials research competences in the Hamburg metropolitan area and is funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), the central self-governing research funding organisation in Germany.

####

About Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY
DESY is one of the world's leading particle accelerator centres. Researchers use the large?scale facilities at DESY to explore the microcosm in all its variety - ranging from the interaction of tiny elementary particles to the behaviour of innovative nanomaterials and the vital processes that take place between biomolecules to the great mysteries of the universe. The accelerators and detectors that DESY develops and builds at its locations in Hamburg and Zeuthen are unique research tools. DESY is a member of the Helmholtz Association, and receives its funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) (90 per cent) and the German federal states of Hamburg and Brandenburg (10 per cent).

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Thomas Zoufal

49-408-998-1666

Copyright © Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

Reference

Related News Press

News and information

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier: Rice U., Northwestern researchers make and test atom-thick boron's unique domains July 17th, 2018

Tuning into quantum: Scientists unlock signal frequency control of precision atom qubits July 16th, 2018

Nano-kirigami: 'Paper-cut' provides model for 3D intelligent nanofabrication July 13th, 2018

UMBC researchers develop nanoparticles to reduce internal bleeding caused by blast trauma July 13th, 2018

Physics

A refined magnetic sense: Algorithms and hardware developed in the context of quantum computation are shown to be useful for quantum-enhanced sensing of magnetic fields July 2nd, 2018

Evidence for a new property of quantum matter revealed: Electrical dipole activity detected in a quantum material unlike any other tested June 11th, 2018

Display technology/LEDs/SS Lighting/OLEDs

DNA drives design principles for lighter, thinner optical displays: Lighter gold nanoparticles could replace thicker, heavier layered polymers used in displays’ back-reflectors June 27th, 2018

Nanomaterials could mean more algae outbreaks for wetlands, waterways: High tech metal particles may inadvertently take a toll on aquatic life June 26th, 2018

Making quantum puddles: Physicists discover how to create the thinnest liquid films ever June 13th, 2018

Possible Futures

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier: Rice U., Northwestern researchers make and test atom-thick boron's unique domains July 17th, 2018

Tuning into quantum: Scientists unlock signal frequency control of precision atom qubits July 16th, 2018

Nano-kirigami: 'Paper-cut' provides model for 3D intelligent nanofabrication July 13th, 2018

UMBC researchers develop nanoparticles to reduce internal bleeding caused by blast trauma July 13th, 2018

Chip Technology

Tuning into quantum: Scientists unlock signal frequency control of precision atom qubits July 16th, 2018

Nanometrics to Announce Second Quarter Financial Results on July 31, 2018 July 12th, 2018

Leti and Soitec Launch a New Substrate Innovation Center to Develop Engineered Substrate Solutions: Industry-inclusive hub promotes early collaboration and learning from substrate to system level July 11th, 2018

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Surpasses $2 Billion in Design Win Revenue on 22FDX® Technology : With 50 client designs and growing, 22FDX proves its value as a cost-effective solution for power-sensitive applications July 9th, 2018

Self Assembly

DNA drives design principles for lighter, thinner optical displays: Lighter gold nanoparticles could replace thicker, heavier layered polymers used in displays’ back-reflectors June 27th, 2018

Collaboration yields discovery of 12-sided silica cages June 20th, 2018

Self-assembling 3D battery would charge in seconds May 22nd, 2018

Engineered polymer membranes could be new option for water treatment May 6th, 2018

Discoveries

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier: Rice U., Northwestern researchers make and test atom-thick boron's unique domains July 17th, 2018

Tuning into quantum: Scientists unlock signal frequency control of precision atom qubits July 16th, 2018

Nano-kirigami: 'Paper-cut' provides model for 3D intelligent nanofabrication July 13th, 2018

UMBC researchers develop nanoparticles to reduce internal bleeding caused by blast trauma July 13th, 2018

Announcements

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier: Rice U., Northwestern researchers make and test atom-thick boron's unique domains July 17th, 2018

Tuning into quantum: Scientists unlock signal frequency control of precision atom qubits July 16th, 2018

Nano-kirigami: 'Paper-cut' provides model for 3D intelligent nanofabrication July 13th, 2018

UMBC researchers develop nanoparticles to reduce internal bleeding caused by blast trauma July 13th, 2018

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier: Rice U., Northwestern researchers make and test atom-thick boron's unique domains July 17th, 2018

Tuning into quantum: Scientists unlock signal frequency control of precision atom qubits July 16th, 2018

Nano-kirigami: 'Paper-cut' provides model for 3D intelligent nanofabrication July 13th, 2018

UMBC researchers develop nanoparticles to reduce internal bleeding caused by blast trauma July 13th, 2018

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

SUNY Poly-Led AIM Photonics and Partners Attend SEMICON West 2018 to Showcase High-Tech Advances, Collaboration, and Future R&D Opportunities: New York’s Tech Valley Makes a Major Showing in Silicon Valley July 3rd, 2018

Cleaning or Etching Items with Unique Geometries Requires Specialized Expertise June 27th, 2018

Powering the 21st Century with Integrated Photonics: UCSB-Led Team Selected for Demonstration of a Novel Waveguide Platform Which is Transparent Throughout the MWIR and LWIR Spectral Bands June 19th, 2018

Executives Explore Key Megatrends and Innovations in MEMS, Sensors, Imaging Tech at SEMI-MSIG European Summits: Speakers to share developments in smart automotive, smart cities, smart industrial, biomedical, consumer and IoT, September 19-21, 2018 in Grenoble, France June 19th, 2018

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project