Solid “Liquid Crystal” Films of Poly-γ-benzyl-L-glutamate

Abstract

WE present here evidence for a planar layered structure in solid films of poly-γ-benzyl-L-glutamate (PEG) made by casting from solution. The (idealized) structure is composed of successive layers of planes parallel to the film surface. The planes themselves consist of “domain” regions of parallel helical molecules. In a given domain the molecules in adjacent planes show a slight angle of twist relative to one another, characteristic of cholesteric liquid crystal structures. An interesting manifestation of this suggested structure is the unusually anisotropic swelling of these films. Films plasticized with a nonvolatile solvent also maintain this layered cholesteric structure with a uniform separation of the PEG planes as shown by birefringence studies.

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SAMULSKI, E., TOBOLSKY, A. Solid “Liquid Crystal” Films of Poly-γ-benzyl-L-glutamate. Nature 216, 997 (1967). https://doi.org/10.1038/216997a0

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