Original Article

Subject Category: Self-assembled Materials

Polymer Journal (2012) 44, 632–638; doi:10.1038/pj.2012.44; published online 11 April 2012

Spatial distribution control of polymer nanoparticles by liquid crystal disclinations

Kenji Higashiguchi1, Kei Yasui2, Masaaki Ozawa2, Keisuke Odoi2 and Hirotsugu Kikuchi3

  1. 1Department of Synthetic Chemistry and Biological Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
  2. 2Nissan Chemical Industries, Funabashi, Japan
  3. 3Institute for Material Chemistry and Engineering, Kyushu University, Kasuga, Japan

Correspondence: Professor H Kikuchi, Institute for Material Chemistry and Engineering, Kyushu University Kasuga Park 6-1, Kasuga 816-8580, Japan. E-mail: kikuchi@cm.kyushu-u.ac.jp

Received 28 December 2011; Revised 2 February 2012; Accepted 6 February 2012
Advance online publication 11 April 2012

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Abstract

A perylene-labeled hyper-branched polymer with a mesogenic shell was observed to migrate toward a field with a large distortion of directors. This polymer was captured by disclination lines of 1/2 strength in its nematic and chiral nematic phases using a confocal fluorescence microscope. In particular, the well-aligned particle array of the hyper-branched polymers was produced by the chiral nematic phase confined in a wedge cell. The hyper-branched polymer with its mesogenic shell was completely dissolved into an isotropic phase. Immediately after a phase transition to the chiral nematic phase, numerous droplets appeared over a wide area owing to phase separation, and the free droplets moved toward the disclination lines via Brownian motion. Finally, the droplets were rapidly attracted to the disclination lines and trapped within them.

Keywords:

confocal fluorescence polarizing microscope; disclination line; fluorescence; hyper-branched polymer; liquid crystal