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Heliconical-layered nanocylinders (HLNCs)-hierarchical self-assembly in a unique B4 phase liquid crystal morphology

  • Author(s): Shadpour, S;
  • Nemati, A;
  • Boyd, NJ;
  • Li, L;
  • Prévôt, ME;
  • Wakerlin, SL;
  • Vanegas, JP;
  • Salamończyk, M;
  • Hegmann, E;
  • Zhu, C;
  • Wilson, MR;
  • Jákli, AI;
  • Hegmann, T
  • et al.
Abstract

A unique morphology for bent-core liquid crystals forming the B4 phase has been found for a class of tris-biphenyl bent-core liquid crystal molecules with a single chiral side chain in the longer para-side of the molecule. Unlike the parent molecules with two chiral side chains or a chiral side chain in the shorter meta-side, which form helical nano- or microfilament B4 phases, the two derivatives described here form heliconical-layered nanocylinders composed of up to 10 coaxial heliconical layers, which can split or merge, braid, and self-assemble into a variety of modes including feather- or herringbone-type structures, concentric rings, or hollow nest-like superstructures. These multi-level hierarchical self-assembled structures, rivaling muscle fibers, display blue structural color and show immense structural and morphological complexity.

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