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Title: The Effects of Size and Shape Dispersity on the Phase Behavior of Nanomesogen Lyotropic Liquid Crystals
Self-assembly of anisotropic nanomaterials into fluids is a key step in producing bulk, solid materials with controlled architecture and properties. In particular, the ordering of anisotropic nanomaterials in lyotropic liquid crystalline phases facilitates the production of films, fibers, and devices with anisotropic mechanical, thermal, electrical, and photonic properties. While often considered a new area of research, experimental and theoretical studies of nanoscale mesogens date back to the 1920s. Through modern computational, synthesis, and characterization tools, there are new opportunities to design liquid crystalline phases to achieve complex architectures and enable new applications in opto-electronics, multifunctional textiles, and conductive films. This review article provides a brief review of the liquid crystal phase behavior of one dimensional nanocylinders and two dimensional nanoplatelets, a discussion of investigations on the effects of size and shape dispersity on phase behavior, and outlook for exploiting size and shape dispersity in designing materials with controlled architectures.  more » « less
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National Science Foundation
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