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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/T003294/1
Title: Spontaneous Induction and Amplification of Macroscopic Homochirality in Isotropic Liquid and Liquid Crystals
Principal Investigator: Zeng, Dr X
Other Investigators:
Ungar, Professor G
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Materials Science and Engineering
Organisation: University of Sheffield
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 November 2019 Ends: 31 October 2022 Value (£): 412,149
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Chemical Synthetic Methodology Complex fluids & soft solids
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
11 Sep 2019 EPSRC Physical Sciences - September 2019 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Recently it was discovered that macroscopic chirality, i.e. left- or right-handedness, can be achieved in some cubic liquid crystal phases and even in isotropic liquid from molecules that are not chiral. Despite the huge scientific and industrial implications of the discovery, we are still at an early stage of understanding the origin of these remarkable phenomena. The aim of this project is to identify the molecular and structural basis for spontaneous long-range chirality propagation even in a liquid, and to achieve them by molecular design. We will also investigate how these systems act as chirality amplifiers using small amounts of chiral dopants, and how new complex nanoscale structures can be obtained by breaking the symmetry of non-chiral structures through the introduction of chiral centres. Furthermore, we aim to demonstrate how the recent discoveries can be utilized for applications e.g. in enantioselective membranes and in chiro-optics for potential use e.g. in high-contrast displays and optical communication.
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Organisation Website: http://www.shef.ac.uk