What at first appears in this micrograph to be gold confetti is actually a compound consisting of a triphenylene core and six tri(oxyethylene) tails; when dissolved in water, the compound forms liquid crystal columns. Hanyu Wu, a PhD candidate in the lab of Xunda Feng at Donghua University, captured this image through a polarized optical microscope. Wu says the supramolecular columns’ ability to align vertically is useful for transportation of ions and water. Wu’s research focuses on using liquid crystalline materials to fabricate next-generation membranes for water filtration and batteries.
Submitted by Hanyu Wu
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