Special Issue "New Trends in Lyotropic Liquid Crystals"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2019.

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Antonio Martins Figueiredo Neto Website E-Mail
Institute of Physics, University of São Paulo, Rua do Matão Nr.1371 CEP 05508-090 Cidade Universitária, São Paulo, Brazil
Phone: +55-11-30916830
Interests: magnetic colloids; lyotropic liquid crystals; low-density lipoproteins; nonlinear optical properties; structure of mesophases
Co-Guest Editor
Dr. Ingo Dierking Website E-Mail
University of Manchester, School of Physics and Astronomy, Manchester, United Kingdom
Interests: chirality effects, polymer modified liquid crystals, lyotropic graphene oxide liquid crystals, defect dynamics, nanoparticles in liquid crystals, electrophoresis in anisotropic fluids

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

The liquid crystalline state of matter has been investigated for more than 100 years by many researchers from different branches of science, technology, and even the arts. Materials presenting liquid crystal properties are present in our daily lives (e.g., cell phones, watches, thermometers, and displays). The great majority of these materials belong to the family of thermotropic liquid crystals. Liquid crystalline properties are also present in mixtures of amphiphilic molecules and solvents, or shape-anisotropic colloids in solvents, which constitute the family of lyotropic liquid crystals. These have attracted a great deal of interest in recent years, despite the fact that technological applications of these materials are not widespread. Some outstanding aspects make lyotropics very attractive for research: The richness of their phase diagrams, showing structures not present in thermotropics; Their closeness with biological systems (e.g., the cell membrane structure); The kosmotropic and chaotropic (bonding/order inducing and disrupting) characteristic of the chemical groups present in some molecules forming lyotropics give interesting information about the water arrangement (solvation water) at the solute/solvent interface; and the possibility of exploiting their self-organization in nanotechnology, as templates. Recently, new mixtures have been proposed, enlarging the possibility of new structures and exciting new properties. It is expected that in the near future, research in lyotropics will increasingly impact biology and medicine—in particular in the field of drug delivery with low toxicity, membrane permeation, and elasticity.

We invite colleagues to submit papers exploring the different aspects of the physico-chemical properties of lyotropic liquid crystals.

The potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • New lyotropic mixtures
  • Property characterization (structure, linear and nonlinear optics, etc.)
  • Chromonic lyotropic liquid crystals
  • Chemical stability of lyotropic mixtures
  • Inorganic and colloidal lyotropic liquid crystals
  • Defects in lyotropic mesophases
  • Elasticity in lyotropic structures
  • Biaxial and uniaxial nematic phases
  • Applications of lyotropics
  • Interface with biological and biomedical research
  • Lyotropic inorganic liquid crystals
  • Lyotropic phases from colloidal nanoparticles

Prof. Dr. Antonio Martins Figueiredo Neto
Guest Editor

Dr. Ingo Dierking
Co-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

  • structure, polymorphism, physico-chemical properties
  • interface biology, drug delivery
  • chromonics
  • shape-anisotropic colloids, nanorods, 2D materials
  • cellulose nano-crystals
  • elasticity, defects
  • flexoelectricity, ferroelectricity
  • applications

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Ordering of Rods near Surfaces: Concentration Effects
Crystals 2019, 9(5), 265; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst9050265 - 21 May 2019
Abstract
We study the orientation of rods in the neighborhood of a surface. A semi-infinite region in two different situations is considered: (i) the rods are located close to a flat wall and (ii) the rods occupy the space that surrounds a sphere. In [...] Read more.
We study the orientation of rods in the neighborhood of a surface. A semi-infinite region in two different situations is considered: (i) the rods are located close to a flat wall and (ii) the rods occupy the space that surrounds a sphere. In a recent paper we investigated a similar problem: the interior of a sphere, with a fixed concentration of rods. Here, we allow for varying concentration, the rods are driven from a reservoir to the neighborhood of the surface by means of a tunable chemical potential. In the planar case, the particle dimensions are irrelevant. In the curved case, we consider cylinders with dimensions comparable to the radius of curvature of the sphere; as they come close to the surface, they have to accommodate to fill the available space, leading to a rich orientational profile. These systems are studied by a mapping onto a three-state Potts model with annealed disorder on a semi-infinite lattice; two order parameters describe the system: the occupancy and the orientation. The Hamiltonian is solved using a mean-field approach producing recurrence relations that are iterated numerically and we obtain various interesting results: the system undergoes a first order transition just as in the bulk case; the profiles do not have a smooth decay but may present a step and we search for the factors that determine their shape. The prediction of such steps may be relevant in the field of self-assembly of colloids and nanotechnology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Lyotropic Liquid Crystals)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Crowding Agent Polyethylene Glycol on Lyotropic Chromonic Liquid Crystal Phases of Disodium Cromoglycate
Crystals 2019, 9(3), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst9030160 - 19 Mar 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Adding crowding agents such as polyethylene glycol (PEG) to lyotropic chromonic liquid crystals (LCLCs) formed by water dispersions of materials such as disodium cromoglicate (DSCG) leads to a phase separation of the isotropic phase and the ordered phase. This behavior resembles nanoscale condensation [...] Read more.
Adding crowding agents such as polyethylene glycol (PEG) to lyotropic chromonic liquid crystals (LCLCs) formed by water dispersions of materials such as disodium cromoglicate (DSCG) leads to a phase separation of the isotropic phase and the ordered phase. This behavior resembles nanoscale condensation of DNAs but occurs at the microscale. The structure of condensed chromonic regions in crowded dispersions is not yet fully understood, in particular, it is not clear whether the condensed domains are in the nematic (N) or the columnar (C) state. In this study, we report on small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) measurements of mixtures of aqueous solutions of DSCG with PEG and compare results to measurements of aqueous solutions of pure DSCG. X-ray measurements demonstrate that addition of PEG to DSCG in the N phase triggers appearance of the C phase that coexists with the isotropic (I) phase. Within the coexisting region, the lateral distance between the columns of the chromonic aggregates decreases as the temperature is increased. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Lyotropic Liquid Crystals)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Lyotropic Liquid Crystals from Colloidal Suspensions of Graphene Oxide
Crystals 2019, 9(9), 455; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst9090455 - 31 Aug 2019
Abstract
Lyotropic liquid crystals from colloidal particles have been known for more than a century, but have attracted a revived interest over the last few years. This is due to the developments in nanoscience and nanotechnology, where the liquid crystal order can be exploited [...] Read more.
Lyotropic liquid crystals from colloidal particles have been known for more than a century, but have attracted a revived interest over the last few years. This is due to the developments in nanoscience and nanotechnology, where the liquid crystal order can be exploited to orient and reorient the anisotropic colloids, thus enabling, increasing and switching the preferential properties of the nanoparticles. In particular, carbon-based colloids like carbon nanotubes and graphene/graphene–oxide have increasingly been studied with respect to their lyotropic liquid crystalline properties over the recent years. We critically review aspects of lyotropic graphene oxide liquid crystal with respect to properties and behavior which seem to be generally established, but also discuss those effects that are largely unfamiliar so far, or as of yet of controversial experimental or theoretical outcome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Lyotropic Liquid Crystals)
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Open AccessReview
Experimental Conditions for the Stabilization of the Lyotropic Biaxial Nematic Mesophase
Crystals 2019, 9(3), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst9030158 - 19 Mar 2019
Abstract
Nematic phases are some of the most common phases among the lyotropic liquid crystalline structures. They have been widely investigated during last decades. In early studies, two uniaxial nematic phases (discotic, ND, and calamitic, NC) were identified. After the [...] Read more.
Nematic phases are some of the most common phases among the lyotropic liquid crystalline structures. They have been widely investigated during last decades. In early studies, two uniaxial nematic phases (discotic, ND, and calamitic, NC) were identified. After the discovery of the third one, named biaxial nematic phase (NB) in 1980, however, some controversies in the stability of biaxial nematic phases began and still continue in the literature. From the theoretical point of view, the existence of a biaxial nematic phase is well established. This review aims to bring information about the historical development of those phases considering the early studies and then summarize the recent studies on how to stabilize different nematic phases from the experimental conditions, especially, choosing the suitable constituents of lyotropic mixtures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Lyotropic Liquid Crystals)
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