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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/M51994/01
Title: PATTERNING OF LIQUID CRYSTALS IN BLOCK COPOLYMER FILMS
Principal Investigator: Hamley, Professor IW
Other Investigators:
McKeown, Professor N Booth, Dr C
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Sch of Chemistry
Organisation: University of Leeds
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 26 April 2000 Ends: 25 August 2002 Value (£): 91,558
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Characterisation Materials Processing
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Patterning of molecules by self-assembly in thin films is of great interest in nanotechnology because of the ability to precisely control the structure and lengthscale of the patterned material. We will pattern liquid crystals in thin films exploiting the self-assembly of block copolymers in solution into micelles. A range of poly(oxyethylene)-poly(oxypropylene) diblock copolymer will be synthesised for this purpose. Preliminary work shows good micellization and solubilization properties for these copolymers. The solubilization of a thermotropic liquid crystal in these micelles will be probed using UV spectroscopy and changes in micellar dimensions upon solubilization will be determined using light scattering and small- angle x-ray scattering. The effect of confinement in the spherical core of the block copolymer micelle on liquid crystal ordering will be probed using deuterium NMR. Thin films of micellar solutions will be prepared by shock cooling or spin casting. Using the latter technique the optimal route to preparation of hexagonal domain structures of nanoscale patterned liquid crystal will be investigated. Finally, the thin film surface structure will be probed using atomic force microscopy.
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Organisation Website: http://www.leeds.ac.uk