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Exotic Phases of Banana-Shaped Molecules Colorado MRSEC DMR-Award # 0820579 PowerPoint Presentation
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Exotic Phases of Banana-Shaped MoleculesColoradoMRSEC DMR-Award # 0820579

Banana shaped molecules, like the one shown in the figure, like to pack into layers but when they do, they have a hard time making flat ones. Their layers have a strong tendency to buckle up into saddles, and when the saddles try to fill space interesting things happen. If the layers are crystal-like they can only form the twisted nanofilaments in the top of the image. If the layers are fluid, like in a liquid crystal, then they form the "plumbers nightmare” of nested tubes and connections, the "sponge phase",at the bottom. These exotic phases show how even a simple molecular modification, like putting a bend in a molecule, can make big changes in its material properties.