Nematic-to-columnar mesophase transition by in situ supramolecular polymerization

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Science  11 Jan 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6423, pp. 161-165
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan1019

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Mating disks and rods into an ordered phase

Disk-shaped molecules tend to stack in columns, whereas rod-shaped ones tend to align parallel to each other. When the two types of molecules are mixed, they tend to phase separate. Yano et al. found the right recipe that allowed enough affinity between the disks and rods so that they formed a blended twisted columnar phase. The phase could be stabilized by polymerizing the disks. The orientation of the twisted columns could be altered using electric fields, whereas optical stimuli could lead to a second ordering transition.

Science, this issue p. 161