The spontaneous formation of a chiral phase via molecular recognition in a system consisting of achiral components is reported. Specifically, the liquid crystalline behaviour of two molecular complexes assembled by hydrogen bonding between a stilbazole-based template and alkoxybenzoic acids has been characterised. The complexes exhibit the heliconical twist-bend nematic phase (NTB) over a broad temperature range despite the hydrogen-bond acceptor not being liquid crystalline and the donor exhbiting the conventional achiral nematic phase.
Walker, R., Pociecha, D., Abberley, J. P., Martinez-Felipe, A., Paterson, D. A., Forsyth, E., Lawrence, G., Henderson, P. A., Storey, J. M. D., Gorecka, E., & Imrie, C. T. (2018). Spontaneous chirality through mixing achiral components: A twist-bend nematic phase driven by hydrogen-bonding between unlike components. Chemical Communications, 54(27), 3383-3386. https://doi.org/10.1039/C8CC00525G