Fast and High-Contrast Electro-optical Switching of Liquid-Crystalline Physical Gels: Formation of Oriented Microphase-Separated Structures


  • Financial support of a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Priority Areas of “Dynamic Control of Strongly Correlated Soft Materials” (No. 413/13031009) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology is gratefully acknowledged. One of the authors (N. M.) is thankful for financial support of the Research Fellowships of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) for Young Scientists.


Fast and high-contrast responses with low driving voltages in twisted nematic (TN) cells are achieved for anisotropically oriented structures of liquid-crystalline physical gels. They are prepared by hydrogen-bonded aggregation of an L-lysine-based gelator in nematic liquid crystals. When the mixtures of the nematic liquid crystals and the gelator are prepared in TN cells, fibrous aggregates of the gelator align along the twisted-nematic orientation of the liquid crystal, forming oriented phase-separated structures.