Discotic liquid crystals of cucurbit[7]uril (CB[7])-functionalised Laponite clays

Peicheng Xu, Yang Lan, Linjie Dai, Thomas O’Neill, Iliya Stoev, Tianyang Cao, Erika Eiser*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Here we demonstrate that in the presence of the small, barrel-shaped molecule cucurbit[7]uril (CB[7]) Laponite clay particles undergo a phase transition into a birefringent gel with lamellar structure and a fluid, Laponite-poor aqueous solution. We employ various characterisation methods and polarised light microscopy to study this transition and the system's structural and optical properties. Furthermore, when dried completely we obtain a layered, transparent composite film, still retaining some liquid-crystalline structure that can be rehydrated reversibly. We argue that this new system may be a model system for anisotropic patchy particles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2883-2891
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Physics
Issue number21-22
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Clays
  • colloidal gel
  • cucurbit[n]uril
  • liquid crystals


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