When liquid crystals with a metal center are 'shaking hands'

Mar 14, 2005

Without liquid crystals (LC's) our cell phones and notebook computers would not be possible, for these compounds keep our display screens flat and lightweight. Being a phase of matter whose order is intermediate between that of a liquid and that of a three-dimensionally organized crystal, LC's show special properties. For instance, by applying electric fields the molecular orientation and hence the optical properties of LC's can be controlled. In addition to the variety of interesting properties that LC's already display, chemists at the Jena University and the University of Colorado at Boulder have added new ones.

First of all, they used LC's containing a metal center of palladium or nickel. The rod-shaped organic LC moieties thus have a potentially active metal center, enableing them to do additional things such as perform catalytic reactions. Furthermore, special groups were added to the ends of molecules which are able to interact if exposed to high temperatures. The new LC's therefore form cross-linked network polymers in which their usual order is "frozen".

By combining their competencies, the scientists from Boulder and Jena have been able to design and synthezise the first samples of a new kind of metal-containing LC-polymer, which shows characteristics of LC's, polymers, and catalytically active compounds at once. "With these new metal-containing LC compounds new materials can be synthesized", says Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Weigand.

Original Publication: Advanced Materials 2005, 17, 602.

Explore further: New 'topological insulator' could lead to superfast computers

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

How Titan's haze help us understand life's origins

Aug 25, 2014

Where did life on Earth come from? There are several theories as to what might have happened. Maybe comets came bearing organic material, or life was transported from another planet such as Mars, or something ...

Recommended for you

WEGA fusion experiment passed on to the USA

13 hours ago

The small WEGA fusion device at Max Planck Institute of Plasma Physics (IPP) in Greifswald is being handed over to the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. The "Wendelstein-Experiment in Greifswald ...

Researchers design plasmonic cavity-free nanolaser

15 hours ago

(Phys.org) —A team of researchers at Imperial College in London has designed a new type of laser, one that could be made much smaller than today's models because it would be cavity-free. In their paper ...

Uncovering the forbidden side of molecules

Sep 21, 2014

Researchers at the University of Basel in Switzerland have succeeded in observing the "forbidden" infrared spectrum of a charged molecule for the first time. These extremely weak spectra offer perspectives ...

User comments : 0