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Substrate-induced phases of discotic liquid crystals

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Fundamentals of liquid crystals

EU-funded research is investigating the fundamental properties of discotic liquid crystals.

Industrial Technologies

Discotic liquid crystals have unique electronic properties and can be used in photovoltaics (solar panels) as well as organic light emitting diodes. Thus, a fundamental understanding of these crystals can lead to advances in associated technology. The DISCO (Substrate-induced phases of discotic liquid crystals) initiative investigated the physical and chemical parameters that control the formation of substrate-induced phases of discotic liquid crystal thin films. Scientists included theoretical as well as experimental investigations in their study. Researchers investigated the substrate-induced phase with respect to time, temperature and interface changes. They determined that the substrate-induced forms are independent of film thickness, but dependent on film age. Scientists observed a unique phenomenon in which the 2D liquid-crystalline phase converted to a 3D crystal-plastic phase. They determined that the presence of solid interfaces induced this phase change. This research may have bearing on a wide range of fields such as the pharmaceutical, food and electronics industries.

Keywords

Discotic liquid crystals, photovoltaics, light emitting diodes, substrate-induced phases, thin films

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