Reversible Control of Ordering Transitions at Aqueous/Liquid Crystal Interfaces Using Functional Amphiphilic Polymers


  • Financial support was provided by the NSF (DMR-0520527) through a grant to the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) at the University of Wisconsin. D. M. L. is an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow. Supporting Information is available online from Wiley InterScience or from the authors.


original image

Functional amphiphilic polymers designed to assemble at interfaces between a nematic liquid crystal and immiscible aqueous phases trigger ordering transitions that result in changes in the optical appearance of the liquid crystal (see figure and cover). The resulting polymer-functionalized interfaces respond reversibly to changes in the pH of aqueous solutions and suggest approaches to the design of fluid interfaces that respond actively or reversibly to a broad range of environmental stimuli.