MSE Seminar Series: Peter J. Collings
Friday, October 14, 2011
Room 2110 Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Bldg.
301 405 5240
Molecular Aggregation and Chromonic Liquid Crystals
Peter J. Collings
Department of Physics and Astronomy
The spontaneous aggregation of molecules in an aqueous solution is an important phenomenon in both biological systems and applications involving self-assembly. It has been known for quite some time that many dyes, drugs, and nucleic acids not only aggregate, but at high enough concentrations form an ordered fluid called a liquid crystal. This phase is distinctly different from both the liquid crystals used in displays and the structures found in soap and phosopholipid solutions. Understanding the aggregation process, the structure of the aggregates, and the liquid crystalline properties is a challenging endeavor, but progress is being made by using a variety of techniques, including absorption spectroscopy, light scattering, polarized microscopy, and viscosity and magnetic birefringence measurements.