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Title: Directed Self-Assembly of Liquid Crystalline Blue-Phases into Ideal Single-Crystals

Chiral nematic liquid crystals are known to form blue phases—liquid states of matter that exhibit ordered cubic arrangements of topological defects. Blue-phase specimens, however, are generally polycrystalline, consisting of randomly oriented domains that limit their performance in applications. A strategy that relies on nano-patterned substrates is presented here for preparation of stable, macroscopic single-crystal blue-phase materials. Different template designs are conceived to exert control over different planes of the blue-phase lattice orientation with respect to the underlying substrate. Experiments are then used to demonstrate that it is indeed possible to create stable single-crystal blue-phase domains with the desired orientation over large regions. Lastly, these results provide a potential avenue to fully exploit the electro-optical properties of blue phases, which have been hindered by the existence of grain boundaries.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Univ. of Chicago, IL (United States). Inst. for Molecular Engineering; Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Material Science Division
  2. Univ. of Chicago, IL (United States). Inst. for Molecular Engineering
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-06CH11357; DMR-1420709
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22); University of Chicago, Chicago, IL (United States). Materials Research Science & Engineering Center (MRSEC); National Science Foundation (NSF)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE
OSTI Identifier:
1372057