Chemoresponsive Liquid Crystals Based on Metal Ion-Ligand Coordination

Project Personnel

Nicholas Abbott

Principal Investigator

Cornell University

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Emmanouil Mavrikakis

University of Wisconsin, Madison

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Robert Twieg

Kent State University

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Funding Divisions

Division of Materials Research (DMR)

Through multiple cycles of computation, synthesis and characterization, this project validated a new methodology for accelerated design and deployment of chemically responsive liquid crystals (LCs). The approach is based on the competitive binding of targeted molecules and LCs to metal cation binding sites on surfaces. Prior efforts to design chemoresponsive LCs had met with limited success due to the slow and laborious nature of the experiments (ten years of experimentation yielded LCs and devices that responded to a single analyte).  The methodology developed in this project accelerated the design and validation of chemically responsive LCs to a few months.