Special Issue "Liquid-Crystalline Ion Conductors"

A special issue of Crystals (ISSN 2073-4352). This special issue belongs to the section "Liquid Crystals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2019.

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Masafumi Yoshio

1. National Institute for Materials Science, Research Center for Functional Materials, Center for Functional Sensor & Actuator, Independent Researcher
1-1 Namiki, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0044, Japan.
2. Hokkaido Univeristy, Graduate School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering, Professor
Kita 13, Nishi 8, Kita-ku, Sapporo, 060-8628, Japan.
Website | E-Mail
Interests: supramolecular chemistry; stimuli-responsive materials; liquid crystals; self-assembled nanofibers; organic ion and electron conductors; actuators; luminescent materials

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The transportation of ions can be enhanced and switched using hierarchical and dynamic structures such as those formed by nanosegregatred liquid crystals and microphase-separated block copolymers. Achieving these functions should allow one not only to fabricate high-performance energy devices including capacitors, lithium batteries, solar cells, and fuell cells, but also to develop state-of-the-art ionic devices such as displays, non-volatile memories, acoustic devices, sensors, actuators, and new separation membranes for water purification. An example of conventional liquid-crystalline ion conductors is liquid-crystalline molecules tethering ion conducting moieties. Oligoethylene oxide or carbonate moieties can be employed for lithium ion conductors. Acidic groups such as sulfonic acid can be introduced into mesogenic molecules to develop proton conductors. Liquid crystals containing cationic, anionic, or zwitterionic moietes are called ionic liquid crystals, and they are also an important class of ion conductors, which can dissociate doped salts and acids into ions. In addition, there is another type of liquid-crystalline ion conductors based on two-component supramolecular assemblies of non-volatile ionic liquids and hydrogen-bonded mesomorphic molecules. To date, liquid crystal chemists have paid much attention to how the dimensions of ion transport can be controlled and then fixed into flexible solid films and how the conductivities of target ions are enhanced into liquid crystal structures from the point of view of supramolecular science and their practical applications. For such functionalization, it is important to design molecular shapes, intermolecular interactions, and segregation, and to further control the orientation of molecular assemblies in a macroscopic scale.

This Special Issue is aimed at both basic and applied research on liquid-crystalline ion conductors. We encourage the submission of original papers on the new design and synthesis of liquid crystals and polymers capable of transporting ions and their use in various applications. Topics for the issue will include the following: 

  • The synthesis and structural characterization of ionic liquid-crystalline assemblies
  • The alignment of assemblies and their fixation by polymerization
  • Electrochemical properties
  • Anisotropic properties
  • Stimuli-responsive properties upon photoirradiation, and applied electric and magnetic fields
  • Switching properties
  • Optical properties
  • Device applications

Dr. Masafumi Yoshio
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Crystals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • synthesis and structural characterization of ionic liquid-crystalline assemblies
  • alignment of assemblies and their fixation by polymerization
  • electrochemical properties
  • anisotropic properties
  • stimuli-responsive properties upon photoirradiation and applied electric and magnetic fields
  • switching properties
  • optical properties
  • device applications

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

Open AccessCommunication
Design of Ionic Liquid Crystals Forming Normal-Type Bicontinuous Cubic Phases with a 3D Continuous Ion Conductive Pathway
Crystals 2019, 9(6), 309; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst9060309
Received: 17 May 2019 / Revised: 12 June 2019 / Accepted: 12 June 2019 / Published: 14 June 2019
PDF Full-text (2799 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
We have prepared a series of pyridinium-based gemini amphiphiles. They exhibit thermotropic liquid–crystalline behavior depending on their alkyl chain lengths and anion species. By adjusting the alkyl chain lengths and selecting suitable anions, we have obtained an ionic amphiphile that exhibits a normal-type [...] Read more.
We have prepared a series of pyridinium-based gemini amphiphiles. They exhibit thermotropic liquid–crystalline behavior depending on their alkyl chain lengths and anion species. By adjusting the alkyl chain lengths and selecting suitable anions, we have obtained an ionic amphiphile that exhibits a normal-type bicontinuous cubic phase from 38 °C to 12 °C on cooling from an isotropic phase. In the bicontinuous cubic liquid–crystalline assembly, the pyridinium-based ionic parts align along a gyroid minimal surface forming a 3D continuous ionic domain while their ionophobic alkyl chains form 3D branched nanochannel networks. This ionic compound can form homogeneous mixtures with a lithium salt and the resultant mixtures keep the ability to form normal-type bicontinuous cubic phases. Ion conduction measurements have been performed for the mixtures on cooling. It has been revealed that the formation of the 3D branched ionophobic nanochannels does not disturb the ion conduction behavior in the ionic domain while it results in the conversion of the state of the mixtures from fluidic liquids to quasi-solids, namely highly viscous liquid crystals. Although the ionic conductivity of the mixtures is in the order of 10–7 S cm–1 at 40 °C, which is far lower than the values for practical use, the present material design has a potential to pave the way for developing advanced solid electrolytes consisting of two task-specific nanosegregated domains: One is an ionic liquid nano-domain with a 3D continuity for high ionic conductivity and the other is ionophobic nanochannel network domains for high mechanical strength. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liquid-Crystalline Ion Conductors)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Design of Ionic Liquid Crystals Forming Normal-Type Bicontinuous Cubic Phases with a 3D Continuous Ion Conductive Pathway

Authors: Takahiro Ichikawa*, Yui Sasaki, Tsubasa Kobayashi, Hikaru Oshiro, Hiroyuki Ohno

Abstrsct: We have prepared a series of pyridinium-based gemini amphiphiles. They exhibit thermotropic liquid-crystalline behavior depending on their alkyl chain lengths and anion species. By adjusting the alkyl chain lengths and selecting suitable anions, we have obtained an ionic amphiphile that exhibits a normal-type bicontinuous cubic phase from XX °C to XX °C on cooling from an isotropic phase. In the bicontinuous cubic liquid-crystalline assembly, the pyridinium-based ionic parts align along a gyroid minimal surface forming a 3D continuous ionic domain while the ionophobic alkyl chains form 3D branched nanochannel networks. This compound can incorporate a lithium salt and the resultant mixtures keep the ability to form normal-type bicontinuous cubic phases. Ion conduction measurements have been performed for the mixtures on cooling. It has been revealed that the formation of 3D branched ionophobic nanochannels does not disturb the ion conduction behavior in the ionic domain while it results in the conversion of the state of the mixture from a fluidic liquid to a quasi-solid, namely a highly viscous liquid crystal. Although the ionic conductivity of the mixtures is in the order of 10–7 S/cm at 40 °C, which is far lower than the values for practical use, the present material design approach has potential to pave a way for developing advanced solid electrolytes consisting of two task-specific nanosegregated domains: an ionic liquid nanodomain for high ionic conductivity and an ionophobic nanodomain for high mechanical strength.

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