Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Bicontinuous Cubic Lyotropic Liquid Crystal Monomers: Platform Modifications and Design of New Functional Motifs Public Deposited
  • The bicontinuous cubic (Q) lyotropic liquid crystal (LLC) phase is highly desired for molecular separation and uptake applications due to its periodic, uniform-size, 3D-interconnected nanopores. In this thesis, the perturbation, formation, and application of the Q phase and Q-phase-forming LLC monomers was explored.

    At start of this thesis work, only five intrinsically cross-linkable monomer platforms were known in the literature. The first study in this thesis describes the effect of structural modification on the Q-phase window of one of these already established Q-phase monomers that was previously designed by our group. Seven homologs of this monomer were synthesized, and four of these seven homologs were found to form stable, cross-linked Q-phase networks. However, only one homolog exhibited an improved Q-phase window compared to parent monomer. Due to the limited success of this homolog study, we were encouraged to design the sixth intrinsically cross-linkable Q-phase-forming LLC monomer. This monomer is based on a simple and novel amphiphile structural motif that does not require difficult synthetic strategies compared to previous intrinsically cross-linkable Q-phase platforms. Cross-linked Q-phase networks of this novel monomer exhibited excellent temperature and solvent stability.

    Finally, the first example of a Q-phase network with functional properties beyond molecular size/charge discrimination is described. This functionalized Q-phase polymer network was formed using a spiropyran-containing dopant monomer that that was designed to blend and cross-link with an established Q-phase-forming LLC monomer, yielding a Q-phase polymer material that retains its phase architecture and reversibly responds to changes in external aqueous solution and vapor pH. Preliminary studies also suggested that this spiropyran-containing Q-phase network material can act as a potential colorimetric sorbent or gated-response material for irreversibly binding aq. Pb2+ ions when triggered with UV light.

Date Issued
  • 2022-04-27
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Last Modified
  • 2022-09-16
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