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Vapor deposition of a nonmesogen prepares highly structured organic glasses



Camille Bishop, Jacob L. Thelen, Eliot Gann, Michael F. Toney, Lian Yu, Dean DeLongchamp, Mark D. Ediger


We show that glasses with aligned smectic liquid crystal-like order can be produced by physical vapor deposition of a molecule without any equilibrium liquid crystal phases. Smectic-like order in vapor-deposited films was characterized by wide-angle X-ray scattering. A surface equilibration mechanism predicts the highly smectic-like vapor-deposited structure to be a result of significant vertical anchoring at the surface of the equilibrium liquid, and NEXAFS spectroscopy orientation analysis confirms this prediction. Understanding of the mechanism enables informed engineering of different levels of smectic order in vapor-deposited glasses to suit various applications. The preparation of a glass with orientational and translational order from a non-liquid crystal opens up an exciting new paradigm for accessing extreme anisotropy in glassy solids.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences


Bishop, C. , Thelen, J. , Gann, E. , Toney, M. , Yu, L. , DeLongchamp, D. and Ediger, M. (2019), Vapor deposition of a nonmesogen prepares highly structured organic glasses, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, [online],, (Accessed June 22, 2024)


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Created October 21, 2019, Updated October 12, 2021