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Research Highlight | Materials Science

A generalizable approach to direct the self-assembly of functional blue-phase liquid crystals

In a study published in Advanced Functional Materials, researchers demonstrated the assembly of blue-phase single crystals by creating chemically patterned surfaces.

Scientific Achievement

Demonstrated that creating chemically patterned surfaces is a generally applicable method of assembling blue-phase single crystals.

Significance and Impact

Single crystalline blue-phases are preferred over their polycrystalline counterparts for display and sensing applications. We devise a recipe for forming single crystals which is applicable irrespective of the chemistry and complexity of the blue-phase forming materials.

Research Details

  • Continuum simulations were used to calculate free energy for different blue-phase lattice orientations on striped chemical patterns consisting of alternating homeotropic and planar regions.
  • Predictions from continuum simulations were used to design chemical patterned surfaces.
  • Single crystalline blue-phases were formed from three different materials.
  • Single crystals were formed from a photopolymerizable formulation; UV curing made the single crystals thermally stable.


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