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Title: Liquid crystalline cellulose-based nematogels

Physical properties of composite materials can be pre-engineered by controlling their structure and composition at the mesoscale. However, approaches to achieving this are limited and rarely scalable. We introduce a new breed of self-assembled nematogels formed by an orientationally ordered network of thin cellulose nanofibers infiltrated with a thermotropic nematic fluid. The interplay between orientational ordering within the nematic network and that of the small-molecule liquid crystal around it yields a composite with highly tunable optical properties. By means of combining experimental characterization and modeling, we demonstrate submillisecond electric switching of transparency and facile responses of the composite to temperature changes. Finally, we discuss a host of potential technological uses of these self-assembled nematogel composites, ranging from smart and privacy windows to novel flexible displays.
Authors:
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2]
  1. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States). Department of Physics
  2. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States). Department of Physics and Department of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering Program, and Soft Materials Research Center; National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States). Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AR0000743
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Science Advances
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 3; Journal Issue: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 2375-2548
Publisher:
AAAS
Research Org:
Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE
OSTI Identifier:
1424924

Liu, Qingkun, and Smalyukh, Ivan I. Liquid crystalline cellulose-based nematogels. United States: N. p., Web. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1700981.
Liu, Qingkun, & Smalyukh, Ivan I. Liquid crystalline cellulose-based nematogels. United States. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1700981.
Liu, Qingkun, and Smalyukh, Ivan I. 2017. "Liquid crystalline cellulose-based nematogels". United States. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1700981. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1424924.
@article{osti_1424924,
title = {Liquid crystalline cellulose-based nematogels},
author = {Liu, Qingkun and Smalyukh, Ivan I.},
abstractNote = {Physical properties of composite materials can be pre-engineered by controlling their structure and composition at the mesoscale. However, approaches to achieving this are limited and rarely scalable. We introduce a new breed of self-assembled nematogels formed by an orientationally ordered network of thin cellulose nanofibers infiltrated with a thermotropic nematic fluid. The interplay between orientational ordering within the nematic network and that of the small-molecule liquid crystal around it yields a composite with highly tunable optical properties. By means of combining experimental characterization and modeling, we demonstrate submillisecond electric switching of transparency and facile responses of the composite to temperature changes. Finally, we discuss a host of potential technological uses of these self-assembled nematogel composites, ranging from smart and privacy windows to novel flexible displays.},
doi = {10.1126/sciadv.1700981},
journal = {Science Advances},
number = 8,
volume = 3,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {8}
}

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