Reports: ND755752-ND7: Nanoporous Membranes by Network Polymerization of Discotic Liquid Crystalline Monomers

Benjamin T. King, University of Nevada, Reno

Since the last reporting period, we have focused on attempts to induce hexagonal ordering in the liquid crystalline phases of our discotic mesogens. Because the interactions between a surface and the mesogens strongly influence the ordering of the mesophases, we focused on varying the spacing between the templating surfaces, the nature of the surfaces, and the temperature programs. The nature of the phases was initially followed by polarized optical microscopy, and, if promising, explored further by X-ray diffraction.

The efforts were, however, not successful in allowing us to obtain the desired columnar packings for the liquid crystalline phases. Our inability to reproduce the originally observed columnar phase is an example of Ostwald’s rule, which states that the least stable phases are formed first.

In the next stage of the project, we hope to reduce the size and branching of the peripheral functionality with the hope that the tendency for the discotic cores to pack will afford the desired columnar packing.