Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2015, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (9): 1733-1740.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB201508101

• SOFT MATTER • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Orientational Transitions of Liquid Crystal Driven by Hydrogen-Bond Interaction at the Liquid Crystal-Aqueous Interface

Zhi-Jian. LIAO,Zhen-Li. QIN,Si-Nan. DU,Si-Yu. LI,Guan-Hou. CHEN,Fang. ZUO*(),Jian-Bin. LUO   

  • Received:2015-06-05 Published:2015-09-06
  • Contact: Fang. ZUO
  • Supported by:
    the National Natural Science Foundation of China(51273220);Fundamental Research Funds for the CentralUniversities, China(11NZYQN23)


In this paper, an orientational anchoring transition of the thermotropic nematic liquid crystal (LC) (4-cyano-4'-pentylbiphenyl (5CB)) driven by hydrogen-bond (HB) interaction at the LC-aqueous interface is presented. After a 5CB film is introduced onto an aqueous solution of phenols such as nitrophenol, the alignment of 5CB changes from planar to homeotropic, which is attributed to HB interaction between 5CB and phenols at the LC-aqueous interface. On the other hand, the interaction of pnitrophenol or m-nitrophenol with bovine serum albumin (BSA) is imaged by the LC sensor. Overall, the results provide new insight into interfacial phenomena occurring at the LC-aqueous interface, and hold the potential for biological and chemical sensing techniques based on HB interaction.

Key words: Liquid crystal, Hydrogen-bond interaction, Orientational transition, Interfacial phenomenon, Optical response, Phenols, Bovine serum albumin