Cover Picture: Reversible Control of Ordering Transitions at Aqueous/Liquid Crystal Interfaces Using Functional Amphiphilic Polymers (Adv. Mater. 23/2007)



On page 4208, Nicholas L. Abbott, David M. Lynn, and coworkers from the University of Wisconsin report amphiphilic polymers that assemble at interfaces between a nematic liquid crystal and immiscible aqueous phases and trigger ordering transitions that result in changes in the optical birefringence of the liquid crystal (as shown). 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 can sense, report on, or respond reversibly to a broad range of environmental stimuli.