Thermotropic liquid crystals with low-dimensional carbon allotropes

Adam p Draude, Ingo Dierking

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As display devices based on liquid crystals have matured over the last decades, liquid crystal research has shifted its priorities in slightly different directions, such as sensors, photonics, nanotechnology and even more biologically related fields like drug delivery. This implied a change of emphasis in the development of novel materials, of which a completely new class of liquid crystal based composites emerged, that of nanoparticle-dispersed liquid crystals. The underlying ideas were to add functionality, while maintaining switchability, and the exploitation of liquid crystal self-organisation to build hierarchical nanostructures. Of particular interest for applications are dispersions of carbon nanomaterials, such as fullerenes, nanotubes and the graphene variants, due to their interactions with conventional liquid crystals. While such systems have been investigated for the past two decades, we concentrate in this review on the effects of dimensionality of the dispersed carbon nanoparticles, which goes hand in hand with the more recent developments in this field. Examples are the doping of 0D fullerenes in liquid crystals and implications for Blue Phase stability, or 1D nanotubes in nematic and ferroelectric liquid crystals, questions of dispersibility and applications as alignment media in ITO-free devices. Graphene (2D) and especially graphene oxide are mainly investigated for their formation of lyotropic liquid crystals. We here discuss the more recent aspects of dispersion in thermotropics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number012002
JournalNano Express
Issue number1
Early online date4 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021


  • liquid crystal
  • thermotropic
  • fullerenes
  • nanotubes
  • graphene
  • graphene oxide
  • carbon allotropes


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    Grigorieva, I., Burnett, H., Cusworth, E., Deaconu, D., Dumitriu-Iovanescu, A., Kang, Y., Little, J., Rees, E., Selles, F., Shaker, M., Soong, Y., Swindell, J., Tainton, G., Wood, H., Astles, T., Carl, A., Chen, G., Richard De Latour, H., Dowinton, O., Haskell, S., Hills, K., Hoole, C., Huang, Y., Kalsi, T., Powell, L., Quiligotti, K., Rimmer, J., Smith, L., Thornley, W., Yang, J., Young, W., Zhao, M., Al Busaidi, R., Al Ruqeishi, E., Chadha, A., Chen, M., Dennis, G., Dunn, E., Gamblen, E., Gao, Y., Georgantas, Y., Jiang, Z., Karakasidi, A., Mcellistrim, A., Meehan, M., Okwelogu, E., Taylor, M., Wang, W., Xin, B., Castle, C., Clout, P., Dean, S. D., Fordham, A., Griffin, E., Hardwick, T., Hawkins-Pottier, G., Jones, A., Lewthwaite, K., Monteil, S., Moulsdale, C., Mullan, C., Orts Mercadillo, V., Sanderson, D., Skliueva, I., Skuse, C., Steiner, P., Winstanley, B., Barry, D., Brooks, D., Cai, J., Chen, Y., Chen, C., Draude, A., Emmerson, C., Gavriliuc, V., Greaves, M., Higgins, E., Mcmaster, R., Mcnair, R., O'Brien, C., Peasey, A., Pinter, G., Shao, S., Thomas, D., Thomas, D., Tsim, L. T. B., Wengraf, J., Weston, A., Yu, T., De Libero, H., Chan, K. C., Tan, Y. T. & Thomson, T.


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