Formation of Polyelectrolyte Multilayer Films at Interfaces Between Thermotropic Liquid Crystals and Aqueous Phases


  • We thank Dr. John Quinn, Dr. Angus Johnston, Alexandra Angelatos, Christina Cortez, and Heng Pho Yap for helpful comments and discussion, and Jugal Gupta for his assistance in preparing FITC-PAH. This work was partially supported by the NSF through the NSEC program (DMR-0425880) and CTS-0327489, US Army Research Office (DAAD190210299), and by the Australian Research Council under the Federation Fellowship and Discovery Project schemes, and by the Victorian State Government under the STI Initiative.


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Preparation of polyelectrolyte multilayer (PEM) films at fluid interfaces between aqueous solutions and liquid crystals is described. The orientation of the liquid crystals is coupled to the presence and organization of the PEM films (see figure). The PEM films can selectively mediate the interactions between solutes and the interfaces of the liquid crystals. PEM films offer a general method to tailor the interfacial properties of liquid crystals for chemical or biological sensing.