Multi-level chirality in liquid crystals formed by achiral molecules

Mirosław Salamończyk, Nataša Vaupotič (Corresponding Author), Damian Pociecha, Rebecca Walker, John M D Storey, Corrie T Imrie, Cheng Wang, Chenhui Zhu, Ewa Gorecka (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Complex materials often exhibit a hierarchical structure with an intriguing mechanism responsible for the 'propagation' of order from the molecular to the nano- or micro-scale level. In particular, the chirality of biological molecules such as nucleic acids and amino acids is responsible for the helical structure of DNA and proteins, which in turn leads to the lack of mirror symmetry of macro-bio-objects. To fully understand mechanisms of cross-level order transfer there is an intensive search for simpler artificial structures exhibiting hierarchical arrangement. Here we present complex systems built of achiral molecules that show four levels of structural chirality: layer chirality, helicity of a basic repeating unit, mesoscopic helix and helical filaments. The structures are identified by a combination of hard and soft x-ray diffraction measurements, optical studies and theoretical modelling. Similarly to many biological systems, the studied materials exhibit a coupling between chirality at different levels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1922
JournalNature Communications
Volume10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2019

Fingerprint

Liquid Crystals
Chirality
chirality
Nucleic Acids
Theoretical Models
liquid crystals
X-Rays
Amino Acids
Molecules
DNA
molecules
Proteins
nucleic acids
Biological systems
complex systems
optical measurement
helices
amino acids
Macros
Large scale systems

Keywords

  • INDUCTION
  • MIRROR-SYMMETRY-BREAKING
  • PHASE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this

Multi-level chirality in liquid crystals formed by achiral molecules. / Salamończyk, Mirosław; Vaupotič, Nataša (Corresponding Author); Pociecha, Damian; Walker, Rebecca; Storey, John M D; Imrie, Corrie T; Wang, Cheng; Zhu, Chenhui; Gorecka, Ewa (Corresponding Author).

In: Nature Communications, Vol. 10, 1922, 23.04.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Salamończyk, M, Vaupotič, N, Pociecha, D, Walker, R, Storey, JMD, Imrie, CT, Wang, C, Zhu, C & Gorecka, E 2019, 'Multi-level chirality in liquid crystals formed by achiral molecules', Nature Communications, vol. 10, 1922. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-09862-y
Salamończyk, Mirosław ; Vaupotič, Nataša ; Pociecha, Damian ; Walker, Rebecca ; Storey, John M D ; Imrie, Corrie T ; Wang, Cheng ; Zhu, Chenhui ; Gorecka, Ewa. / Multi-level chirality in liquid crystals formed by achiral molecules. In: Nature Communications. 2019 ; Vol. 10.
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