Project description

In this subproject, self-assembly of molecular systems with liquid crystalline phases will be combined with self-assembled nanoporosity in monolithic solids of silicon, fused silica, and anodically oxidized aluminum (AAO) traversed by parallel cylindrical nanopores to design optical materials with tunable and switchable linear and circular birefringence. As liquid crystalline systems, thermotropic systems with rod- and disk-shaped molecules with chiral and achiral character are investigated. On the one hand, the basic understanding of the self-assembly of these mesogens in porous media will be extended, especially with respect to the interplay of molecular pore wall anchoring and pore diameter as well as with respect to the influence of external electric fields. On the other hand, from a materials science and technology perspective, we will explore how the potential of self-assembly of mesogens and thus of nano-objects (bottom-up) can be combined with self-assembled porosity on the meso- and macroscale in mechanically robust, monolithic solids (top-down) to design 3-D photonic metamaterials.

Project leaders
Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Patrick Huber,


liquid crystals

3-D photonic metamaterials

switchable anisotropy




1. A. Yildirim et al.: Multiple glassy dynamics of a homologous series of triphenylene-based columnar liquid crystals – A study by broadband dielectric spectroscopy and advanced calorimetry. Journal of Molecular Liquids 358, 119212 (2022)
DOI: 10.1016/j.molliq.2022.119212 

2. A. V. Kityk et al.: Dynamic Kerr and Pockels electro-optics of liquid crystals in nanopores for active photonic metamaterials. Nanoscale 13, 18714–18725 (2021)
DOI: 10.48550/arXiv.2107.01363

3. A. V. Kityk, G. Y. Gor and P. Huber: Adsorption from binary liquid solutions into mesoporous silica: a capacitance isotherm on 5CB nematogen/cyclohexane mixtures. Molecular Physics (2021)
DOI: 10.1080/00268976.2021.1909160 - with B7

... and more on the list of publications.