(144i) Molecular Adsorbate-Triggered Orientational Transitions of Liquid Crystals on Metal Surfaces

Authors: 
Szilvási, T., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Gold, J., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Yu, H., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Bao, N., Cornell University
Abbott, N. L., Cornell University
Mavrikakis, M., University of Wisconsin-Madison
The elucidation of processes that amplify specific atomic-scale events into the macroscopic scale holds great promise because such processes can provide insight into molecular events as well as form the basis of technologically useful phenomena that enable the design of programmable, stimuli-responsive materials. Liquid crystals, comprised of molecules with preferred orientations in the bulk, show remarkable cooperative behaviors that allow information encoded in sub-molecular-level interactions to be amplified up to the micrometer-scale1 and thus enabling specific molecular interactions occurring at the interfaces can be visually detected2-6.

In this presentation, we will show how computational chemistry techniques combined with knowledge from surface science and heterogeneous catalysis can efficiently guide experimental efforts to design the interactions of liquid crystal molecules with metal surfaces. We will showcase examples of how surface interactions can be tuned to optically detect molecular events occurring at the liquid crystal-metal interface. The relevancy of these results to design of chemical sensors will be discussed.

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