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 473 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

LabAsia Buyers Guide 2019

October 2019

In This Edition Chromatography - Vacuum Ultraviolet Spectroscopy: A Versatile Tool for Analysis of Gasoline and Jet Fuels - High-performance Columns and Bulk for your Chromatography - New L...

View all digital editions

Events

Filtech

Oct 22 2019 Cologne, Germany

Chem Show 2019

Oct 22 2019 New York, USA

BCEIA 2019

Oct 23 2019 Beijing, China

Lab Innovations 2019

Oct 30 2019 Birmingham, UK

SETAC North America

Nov 03 2019 Toronto, Canada

View all events