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Title: Technical Report: Understanding Functional Lyotropic Liquid Crystal Network Phase Self-Assembly and the Properties of Nanoconfined Water

Abstract

Through the synergistic interplay of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, chemical synthesis, and materials characterization by X-ray and neutron scattering techniques, this project investigated the phase behaviors of new classes of aqueous lyotropic liquid crystals (LLCs) and the properties of water nanoconfined within their pores. A portion of our studies focused on the synthesis of new classes of alkylsulfonic acid and alkylphosphonate amphiphiles, which were shown to undergo water-induced self-assembly to form a wide variety of nanostructured morphologies with unusually high degrees of long-range translational order observed by small- angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). Sample LLC morphologies that were observed include the lamellar (L!), tricontinuous double gyroid (G), hexagonally-packed cylinders (H), and low symmetry discontinuous micellar (I) Frank-Kasper phases. Since the G and H phases are the most promising for the development of selective ion transporting membranes for energy applications, we sought the characterize the structure and dynamics of water confined within the sub-3 nm pores of these LLCs using wide-angle neutron diffraction (WAND) and quasielastic neutron scattering (QENS) experiments performed at the Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, we validated models for analyzing this QENS data to obtain water self-diffusion coefficients in LLC Gmore » and H phases of carboxylate and sulfonate surfactant LLCs as a function of the identities of their charge compensating counterions.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. Univ. of Minnesota, Twin Cities, MN (United States)
  2. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
OSTI Identifier:
1341626
Report Number(s):
DOE-46938-UWMadison-7th product
DE-FG02-13ER46938
DOE Contract Number:
SC0010328
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 07 ISOTOPE AND RADIATION SOURCES; 47 OTHER INSTRUMENTATION; 77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY; neutron scattering; x-ray scattering; lyotropic; liquid crystal; water; self-assembly; nanoconfinement

Citation Formats

Mahanthappa, Mahesh K, and Yethiraj, Arun. Technical Report: Understanding Functional Lyotropic Liquid Crystal Network Phase Self-Assembly and the Properties of Nanoconfined Water. United States: N. p., 2017. Web.
Mahanthappa, Mahesh K, & Yethiraj, Arun. Technical Report: Understanding Functional Lyotropic Liquid Crystal Network Phase Self-Assembly and the Properties of Nanoconfined Water. United States.
Mahanthappa, Mahesh K, and Yethiraj, Arun. Tue . "Technical Report: Understanding Functional Lyotropic Liquid Crystal Network Phase Self-Assembly and the Properties of Nanoconfined Water". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_1341626,
title = {Technical Report: Understanding Functional Lyotropic Liquid Crystal Network Phase Self-Assembly and the Properties of Nanoconfined Water},
author = {Mahanthappa, Mahesh K and Yethiraj, Arun},
abstractNote = {Through the synergistic interplay of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, chemical synthesis, and materials characterization by X-ray and neutron scattering techniques, this project investigated the phase behaviors of new classes of aqueous lyotropic liquid crystals (LLCs) and the properties of water nanoconfined within their pores. A portion of our studies focused on the synthesis of new classes of alkylsulfonic acid and alkylphosphonate amphiphiles, which were shown to undergo water-induced self-assembly to form a wide variety of nanostructured morphologies with unusually high degrees of long-range translational order observed by small- angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). Sample LLC morphologies that were observed include the lamellar (L!), tricontinuous double gyroid (G), hexagonally-packed cylinders (H), and low symmetry discontinuous micellar (I) Frank-Kasper phases. Since the G and H phases are the most promising for the development of selective ion transporting membranes for energy applications, we sought the characterize the structure and dynamics of water confined within the sub-3 nm pores of these LLCs using wide-angle neutron diffraction (WAND) and quasielastic neutron scattering (QENS) experiments performed at the Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, we validated models for analyzing this QENS data to obtain water self-diffusion coefficients in LLC G and H phases of carboxylate and sulfonate surfactant LLCs as a function of the identities of their charge compensating counterions.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Jan 31 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Tue Jan 31 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}

Technical Report:
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  • Lyotropic chromonic liquid crystals (LCLCs) are formed by molecules with ionic groups at the periphery that associate into stacks through noncovalent self-assembly while in water. The very existence of the nematic (N) phase in the typical LCLC, the dye Sunset Yellow (SSY) is a puzzle, as the correlation length associated with the stacking, as measured in the X-ray experiments, is too short to explain the orientational order by the Onsager model. We propose that the aggregates can be more complex than simple rods and contain 'stacking faults' such as junctions with a shift of neighboring molecules, 3-fold junctions, etc. Wemore » study how ionic additives, such as salts of different valency and pH-altering agents, alter the N phase of SSY purified by recrystallization. The additives induce two general trends: (a) stabilization of the N phase, caused by the mono and divalent salts (such as NaCl), and evidenced by the increase of the N-to-I transition temperature and the correlation length; (b) suppression of the N phase manifested in the decrease of the N-to-I transition temperature and in separation of the N phase into a more densely packed N phase or the columnar (C) phase, coexisting with a less condensed I phase. The scenario (b) can be triggered by simply increasing pH (adding NaOH). The effects produced by tetravalent spermine fall mostly into the category (b), but the detail depends on whether this additive is in its salt form or a free base form. The base form causes changes through changes in pH and possible excluded volume effects whereas the salt form might disrupt the structure of SSY aggregates.« less
  • Dense multicomponent systems with macromolecules and small solutes attract a broad research interest as they mimic the molecularly crowded cellular interiors. The additives can condense and align the macromolecules, but they do not change the degree of covalent polymerization. We chose a lyotropic chromonic liquid crystal with reversibly and non-covalently assembled aggregates as a much softer system, reminiscent of 'living polymers', to demonstrate that small neutral and charged additives cause condensation of aggregates with ensuing orientational and positional ordering and nontrivial morphologies of phase separation, such as tactoids and toroids of the nematic and hexagonal columnar phase coexisting with themore » isotropic melt. Scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM) with near edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) analysis as well as fluorescent microscopy demonstrates segregation of the components. The observations suggest that self-assembly of chromonic aggregates in the presence of additives is controlled by both entropy effects and by specific molecular interactions and provide a new route to the regulated reversible assembly of soft materials formed by low-molecular weight components.« less
  • Dense multicomponent systems with macromolecules and small solutes attract a broad research interest as they mimic the molecularly crowded cellular interiors. The additives can condense and align the macromolecules, but they do not change the degree of covalent polymerization. We chose a lyotropic chromonic liquid crystal with reversibly and non-covalently assembled aggregates as a much softer system, reminiscent of 'living polymers', to demonstrate that small neutral and charged additives cause condensation of aggregates with ensuing orientational and positional ordering and nontrivial morphologies of phase separation, such as tactoids and toroids of the nematic and hexagonal columnar phase coexisting with themore » isotropic melt. Scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM) with near edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) analysis as well as fluorescent microscopy demonstrates segregation of the components. The observations suggest that self-assembly of chromonic aggregates in the presence of additives is controlled by both entropy effects and by specific molecular interactions and provide a new route to the regulated reversible assembly of soft materials formed by low-molecular weight components.« less
  • No abstract prepared.