News & Views

  • Powering Up on Liquid Crystals
    The structural formula of liquid crystals superimposed on an image of the liquid crystal phase prepared using a polarized light microscope together with examples of the fluorescence exhibited by liquid crystals in various solvents (bottom right) Ill./©: Natalie Tober, JGU

Powering Up on Liquid Crystals

Oct 09 2019 Read 554 Times

In a project sponsored by the German Research Foundation (DFG), scientists at the Institute of Organic Chemistry within Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) have been able to synthesize novel liquid crystals that can provide power directly to electronic components.

"If you slowly cool our liquid crystalline materials, the molecules align in a self-assembly process to form columns," explained Professor Heiner Detert of JGU. "We can imagine these columns like piles of beer mats stacked one on top of the other. But the special thing is that these columns conduct electrical energy along their whole length." The materials can thus serve as organic, liquid crystalline "power cables" providing targeted electricity transmission. While most materials conduct positive charges carried by holes, the new molecules actually conduct electrons. An additional advantage of a liquid crystalline power cable is that if it ruptures, any such rupture will heal entirely by itself.

The researchers have identified a particularly interesting effect exhibited by their synthesized molecules: If a single molecule is stimulated by exposure to UV light, it will glow in response. If the concentration of the molecule increases, this effect disappears only to reappear again when the concentration continues to increase. If the molecules are suspended in a solvent or arranged on a film, they will fluoresce in various colors when irradiated with UV light.

Detert and his team together with Professor Matthias Lehmann of the Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg recently published their results in Chemistry – A European Journal. The lead author, Natalie Tober, is supported by a scholarship awarded by the Carl Zeiss Foundation.

Reader comments

Do you like or dislike what you have read? Why not post a comment to tell others / the manufacturer and our Editor what you think. To leave comments please complete the form below. Providing the content is approved, your comment will be on screen in less than 24 hours. Leaving comments on product information and articles can assist with future editorial and article content. Post questions, thoughts or simply whether you like the content.

Post a Comment




Digital Edition

Lab Asia December 2019

December 2019

In This Edition Mass Spectrometry & Spectroscopy - Translating Proteomic MALDi Tissue Typing to Clinical Pathology - Fusion Protein Complexes Analysed by CG-MALS - Non-equivalent, Multivalen...

View all digital editions

Events

SLAS 2020

Jan 25 2020 San Diego, CA, USA

Arab Health

Jan 27 2020 Dubai, UAE

Nano Tech 2020

Jan 29 2020 Tokyo, Japan

MEDLAB MIDDLE EAST

Feb 03 2020 Dubai, UAE

Smart Factory Expo (SFE 2020)

Feb 12 2020 Tokyo, Japan

View all events