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Title: Toluene-induced phase transitions in blue phase liquid crystals

Abstract

Here, we report phase transitions in blue phase-forming liquid crystals (LCs) that are triggered by exposure to toluene vapours. Specifically, we reveal that room-temperature cholesteric phase mixtures of MLC-2142 and S-811 form blue phases (BP I, II and III) with increasing vapour pressure of toluene. To probe the mechanism underlying this observation, we investigated the phase behaviour of mixtures of BP-forming LCs containing a range of non-volatile aromatic compounds (e.g. pyrene). We interpret our observations to indicate that the principal effect of small aromatic compounds is to decrease the energy penalty associated with the formation of disclination lines in BPs. We also conclude that the absorption of toluene into the BP-forming LCs lowers the energy required for the formation of disclination cores in the BP phase, thus allowing the elastically favoured double-twist cylinders to form at lower temperatures. We further show that BP-forming LCs containing pyrene can be used to detect toluene at concentrations below 200 ppm at room temperature. Overall, these results guide the design of LC-based materials that respond to VOCs at concentrations relevant to occupational settings.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3]
  1. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
  2. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States); Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY (United States)
  3. Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States); Univ. of Chicago, IL (United States); Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22). Materials Sciences & Engineering Division
OSTI Identifier:
1616867
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0004025; SC0019762
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Liquid Crystals
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 46; Journal Issue: 13-14; Journal ID: ISSN 0267-8292
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; 37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; Blue phase; volatile organic gas; chemical sensor

Citation Formats

Bedolla Pantoja, Marco A., Yang, Yu, and Abbott, Nicholas L.. Toluene-induced phase transitions in blue phase liquid crystals. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. https://doi.org/10.1080/02678292.2019.1633432.
Bedolla Pantoja, Marco A., Yang, Yu, & Abbott, Nicholas L.. Toluene-induced phase transitions in blue phase liquid crystals. United States. https://doi.org/10.1080/02678292.2019.1633432
Bedolla Pantoja, Marco A., Yang, Yu, and Abbott, Nicholas L.. Thu . "Toluene-induced phase transitions in blue phase liquid crystals". United States. https://doi.org/10.1080/02678292.2019.1633432. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1616867.
@article{osti_1616867,
title = {Toluene-induced phase transitions in blue phase liquid crystals},
author = {Bedolla Pantoja, Marco A. and Yang, Yu and Abbott, Nicholas L.},
abstractNote = {Here, we report phase transitions in blue phase-forming liquid crystals (LCs) that are triggered by exposure to toluene vapours. Specifically, we reveal that room-temperature cholesteric phase mixtures of MLC-2142 and S-811 form blue phases (BP I, II and III) with increasing vapour pressure of toluene. To probe the mechanism underlying this observation, we investigated the phase behaviour of mixtures of BP-forming LCs containing a range of non-volatile aromatic compounds (e.g. pyrene). We interpret our observations to indicate that the principal effect of small aromatic compounds is to decrease the energy penalty associated with the formation of disclination lines in BPs. We also conclude that the absorption of toluene into the BP-forming LCs lowers the energy required for the formation of disclination cores in the BP phase, thus allowing the elastically favoured double-twist cylinders to form at lower temperatures. We further show that BP-forming LCs containing pyrene can be used to detect toluene at concentrations below 200 ppm at room temperature. Overall, these results guide the design of LC-based materials that respond to VOCs at concentrations relevant to occupational settings.},
doi = {10.1080/02678292.2019.1633432},
journal = {Liquid Crystals},
number = 13-14,
volume = 46,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {7}
}

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Cited by: 6 works
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