skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Abbott, Nicholas L."

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 28, 2024
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 17, 2024
  3. We measure and model monolayers of concentrated diffusing colloidal probes interacting with polymerized liquid crystal (PLC) planar surfaces. At topological defects in local nematic director profiles at PLC surfaces, we observe time-averaged two-dimensional particle density profiles of diffusing colloidal probes that closely correlate with spatial variations in PLC optical properties. An inverse Monte Carlo analysis of particle concentration profiles yields two-dimensional PLC interfacial energy landscapes on the kT -scale, which is the inherent scale of many interfacial phenomena ( e.g. , self-assembly, adsorption, diffusion). Energy landscapes are modelled as the superposition of macromolecular repulsion and van der Waals attraction based on an anisotropic dielectric function obtained from the liquid crystal birefringence. Modelled van der Waals landscapes capture most net energy landscape variations and correlate well with experimental PLC director profiles around defects. Some energy landscape variations near PLC defects indicate either additional local repulsive interactions or possibly the need for more rigorous van der Waals models with complete spectral data. These findings demonstrate direct, sensitive measurements of kT -scale van der Waals energy landscapes at PLC interfacial defects and suggest the ability to design interfacial anisotropic materials and van der Waals energy landscapes for colloidal assembly. 
    more » « less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 7, 2024
  4. Biological systems convert chemical energy into mechanical work by using protein catalysts that assume kinetically controlled conformational states. Synthetic chemomechanical systems using chemical catalysis have been reported, but they are slow, require high temperatures to operate, or indirectly perform work by harnessing reaction products in liquids (e.g., heat or protons). Here, we introduce a bioinspired chemical strategy for gas-phase chemomechanical transduction that sequences the elementary steps of catalytic reactions on ultrathin (<10 nm) platinum sheets to generate surface stresses that directly drive microactuation (bending radii of 700 nm) at ambient conditions (T = 20 °C; P total = 1 atm). When fueled by hydrogen gas and either oxygen or ozone gas, we show how kinetically controlled surface states of the catalyst can be exploited to achieve fast actuation (600 ms/cycle) at 20 °C. We also show that the approach can integrate photochemically controlled reactions and can be used to drive the reconfiguration of microhinges and complex origami- and kirigami-based microstructures. 
    more » « less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 9, 2024
  5. Liquid crystal properties of compounds with a variety of polar terminal groups including cyano, fluoro, isothiocyanato, etc., were studied well, however, not enough attention was given to nitro terminal compounds. In this work, a series of fluorine tail terminated alkoxy nitrobiphenyl compounds were synthesised and their mesogenic properties were analysed. In addition, the simple alkoxy nitrobiphenyl compounds were synthesised and analysed in order to compare them with fluoro-alkoxy nitrobiphenyl compounds and for binary mixture analysis. Fluorine tail termination to the alkoxy chain does suppress the smectic phase that was observed for the simple alkoxy nitrobiphenyl compounds with longer chains. Fluorine tail terminated alkoxy nitrobiphenyl compounds with longer chains (C7-C10) show monotropic nematic phase around ambient temperature and supercooling properties and these compounds are useful for a binary mixture analysis. Moreover, computation and experimental analyses of the alkoxy nitrobiphenyl compounds were performed to investigate the potential use of these nitro terminal compounds as chemoresponsive liquid crystal materials. 
    more » « less
  6. We report how analysis of the spatial and temporal optical responses of liquid crystal (LC) films to targeted gases, when per-formed using a machine learning methodology, can advance the sensing of gas mixtures and provide important insights into the physical processes that underlie the sensor response. We develop the methodology using O3 and Cl2 mixtures (representative of an important class of analytes) and LCs supported on metal perchlorate-decorated surfaces as a model system. Whereas O3 and Cl2¬ both diffuse through LC films and undergo redox reactions with the supporting metal perchlorate surfaces to generate similar ini-tial and final optical states of the LCs, we show that a 3-dimensional convolutional neural network (3D CNN) can extract feature information that is encoded in the spatiotemporal color patterns of the LCs to detect the presence of both O3 and Cl2 species in mixtures as well as to quantify their concentrations. Our analysis reveals that O3 detection is driven by the transition time over which the brightness of the LC changes, while Cl2 detection is driven by color fluctuations that develop late in the optical response of the LC. We also show that we can detect the presence of Cl2 even when the concentration of O3 is orders of magnitude greater than the Cl2 concentration. The proposed methodology is generalizable to a wide range of analytes, reactive surfaces and LCs, and has the potential to advance the design of portable LC monitoring devices (e.g., wearable devices) for analyzing gas mixtures us-ing spatiotemporal color fluctuations. 
    more » « less