Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

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Research Interests

Supramolecular Chemistry and Liquid Crystals (LCs)

Liquid crystals (LCs) represent a state of matter uniquely combining fluidity with order. This combination is essential for numerous technological applications, the commonly known is the LC display; but this state of matter is also of importance in numerous other fields, as for example for the complex self-assembly in biosystems. Our group deals with the synthesis of new materials capable of forming such self-assembled ordered fluids with high structural complexity and new emergent functionalities. We perform the design, the synthesis and the characterization of new liquid crystalline molecules. For the investigations various complimentary methods are employed, among them polarizing microscopy, calorimetric analysis, X-ray diffraction methods and electro-optical investigations. Further studies are performed in cooperation with partners from all over the world.

Fields of Research

  • Emergence of complexity by soft self-assembly - Polyphilicity as design concept, honeycombs, liquid quasicrystals  and LC Frank Kasper phases
  • Dynamic supramolecular networks by liquid state self-assembly (single network cubic phases and liquid organic frameworks)
  • Spontaneous mirror symmetry breaking in soft matter and in liquids, and the origin of biological homochirality
  • Development of polar order and ferroelectricity in LCs
  • Photoswitchable and other functional LCs

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