Robust Chiral Organization of Cellulose Nanocrystals in Capillary Confinement.
Authors of this article are:
Cherpak V, Korolovych VF, Geryak R, Turiv T, Nepal D, Kelly J, Bunning TJ, Lavrentovich OD, Heller WT, Tsukruk VV.
A summary of the article is shown below:
We showed large area uniformly aligned chiral photonic bioderived films from a liquid crystal phase formed by a cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) suspension placed in a thin capillary. As a result of the spatial confinement of the drying process, the interface between coexisting isotropic and chiral phases aligns perpendicular to the long axis of the capillary. This orientation facilitates a fast homogeneous growth of chiral pseudo-layers parallel to the interface. Overall, formation of organized solids takes hours vs. weeks in contrast to the slow and heterogeneous process of drying from the traditional dish-cast approach. The saturation of water vapor in one end of the capillary causes anisotropic drying and promotes unidirectional propagation of the anisotropic phase in large regions that results in chiral CNC solid films with uniformly oriented layered morphology. Corresponding ordering processes were monitored in-situ at nanoscale, mesoscale, and microscopic scale with complementary scattering and microscopic techniques. The resulting films show high orientation order at multi-length scale over large regions and preserved chiral handedness causing a narrower optical reflectance band and uniform birefringence over macroscopic regions in contrast to traditional dish-cast CNC films and those assembled in magnetic field and on porous substrates. These thin films with controllable and well-identified uniform morphology, structural colors and handedness open up interesting possibilities for broad applications in bio-derived photonic nanomaterials.
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