Rewriting the phase diagram of a diamagnetic liquid crystal by a magnetic field

Fatin Hajjaj, Takashi Kajitani, Hiroyuki Ohsumi, Yoshikazu Tanaka, Kenichi Kato, Masaki Takata, Hideaki Kitazawa, Taka hisa Arima, Takuzo Aida, Takanori Fukushima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Magnetic fields have been considered to only interact with organic materials non-destructively, leaving their fundamental structures unaffected, even when a strong magnetic field generated from a superconducting magnet is applied. Here we report an unprecedented observation that a liquid-crystalline mesophase of a diamagnetic molecular assembly with an orthorhombic or a cubic structure is formed selectively in the absence or presence of a strong magnetic field. The constituent molecule is a triphenylene derivative carrying six imidazolium bromide-terminated alkyl side chains and exhibits a cubic, orthorhombic, or hexagonal columnar mesophase when complexed with an appropriate amount of lanthanum(III) bromide. Thermal processing of the La3+-containing liquid-crystalline assembly in the presence of a 10-tesla magnetic field resulted in a phase diagram, in which the orthorhombic phase is completely replaced with the cubic phase. The discovery of this magneto-induced phase-selection offers an insight into the interactions between magnetic fields and organic material.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4431
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec 1


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