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Keywords:

  • Birefringence;
  • Hydrogels;
  • Liquid crystals
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Anisotropic gels containing a very small amount of liquid crystals have been prepared. The gels exhibit strong birefringence, even after swelling, under crossed polarizers, although the monomer solutions do not (see Figure). The swollen gels have a liquid-crystal concentration (CLC) of only 0.14 wt.-%.