Dr. Quan Li | Chemistry & Biochemistry | Kent State University

Dr. Quan Li

"Stimuli-Directing Liquid Crystalline Nanostructures: From 1D to 3D"

Stimuli-responsive functional soft materials are of significance from both fundamental academic research and technological applications. Toward this end, liquid crystalline materials such as cholesteric liquid crystals and blue phases represent such a remarkable self-organized system which exhibit extreme sensitivity to small external stimuli. Li’s lab is primarily involved in the study of 1D and 3D liquid crystalline nanostructures under light irradiation, electric field and temperature variation. Specifically, the tunability of the properties of cholesteric liquid crystals and blue phases are recently under focus. We have designed and synthesized powerful chiral molecular switches or motors and fabricated cholesteric liquid crystals and blue phases with interesting properties. We have demonstrated high-resolution and light-weight photoaddressable displays without patterned electronics on flexible substrates. Reversible tuning of reflection color across the whole visible spectrum has been achieved. Photomodulation of the helical pitch has been achieved by UV, visible, and near-infrared (NIR) light irradiation in addition to handedness inversion of cholesteric liquid crystals. Dynamic and static primary red, green and blue (RGB) reflection colors have been achieved in a single thin film. Omnidirectional lasing and omnidirectional reflection of circularly polarized light have also been attained in monodisperse photoresponsive cholesteric microshells and microdroplets respectively fabricated by a capillary-based microfluidic technique. Reversible 3D control over the helical axis of cholesteric liquid crystal has been achieved. Cholesteric liquid crystals based smart windows driven by electric field and photoirradiation has been achieved. Blue phases have been fabricated and investigated in the context of self-organized 3D photonic band gap (PBG) materials, and dynamic phototuning of the PBG over the visible region has been achieved. Photothermal effect of gold nanorods has been employed to tune the lattice constant of blue phases.

Potential REU students will be involved in our ongoing research projects and will be exposed to an international team of Ph.D. students, postdocs and visiting scientists of diverse background. The students would be able to apprehend the variety of methods involved in the synthesis of organic liquid crystalline materials and their structural characterization. Moreover, the students might participate in the studies of liquid crystalline materials under light-irradiation, electric field and temperature variation by using different techniques. The overall goal of our group will be to motivate and inspire the students toward the potential and practice of scientific research enterprise and a flavor of interdisciplinary endeavor.

More information on Li’s lab, visit www.lcinet.kent.edu/users/qli180/PI/Li.htm


References

  1. Q. Li (Ed), Nanomaterials for Sustainable Energy, Springer, Heidelberg, 2016.
  2. Q. Li (Ed), Anisotropic Nanomaterials: Preparation, Properties, and Applications, Springer, Heidelberg, 2015.
  3. Q. Li (Ed), Nanoscience with Liquid Crystals: From Self-Organized Nanostructures to Applications, Springer, Heidelberg, 2014.
  4. Q. Li (Ed.), Intelligent Stimuli Responsive Materials: From Well-defined Nanostructures to Applications, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ, 2013.
  5. Q. Li (Ed.), Liquid Crystals Beyond Displays: Chemistry, Physics, and Applications, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ, 2012.
  6. Z. Zheng, Y. Li, H. K. Bisoyi, L. Wang, T. J. Bunning, and Q. Li, Three-Dimensional Control of the Helical Axis of a Chiral Nematic Liquid Crystal by Light, Nature 2016, 531, 352-356.
  7. H. K. Bisoyi and Q. Li, Light-Driven Liquid Crystalline Materials: From Photo-Induced Phase Transitions and Property Modulations to Applications, Chem. Rev. 2016, 116, 15089-15166.
  8. K. G. Gutierrez-Cuevas, L. Wang, Z. Zheng, H. K. Bisoyi, G. Li, L. Tan, R. A. Vaia and Q. Li, Frequency-Driven Self-Organized Helical Superstructures Loaded with Mesogen-Grafted Silica Nanoparticles, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 13090-13094.
  9. H. K. Bisoyi and Q. Li, Light-Directed Dynamic Chirality Inversion in Functional Self-Organized Helical Superstructures, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 2994-3010.
  10. L. Wang, H. Dong, Y. Li, R. Liu, Y. Wang, H. K. Bisoyi, L.-D. Sun, C.-H. Yan, and Q. Li, Photoluminescence-Driven Reversible Handedness Inversion of Self-Organized Helical Superstructures Enabled by Unprecedented Near-Infrared Light Nanotransducers, Adv. Mater. 2015, 27, 2065-2069.
  11. J. Fan, Y. Li, H. K. Bisoyi, R. S. Zola, D. Yang, T. J. Bunning, D. A. Weitz, and Q. Li, Light-Directing Omnidirectional Circularly Polarized Reflection from Liquid Crystal Droplets, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 54, 2160-2164.
  12. H. K. Bisoyi and Q. Li. Light-Directing Chiral Liquid Crystal Nanostructures: From 1D to 3D, Acc. Chem. Res. 2014, 47, 3184-3195.
  13. L. Wang, H. Dong, Y. Li, C. Xue, L. Sun, C. Yan, and Q. Li. Reversible Near-Infrared Light Directed Reflection in a Self-organized Helical Superstructure Loaded with Upconversion Nanoparticles, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 4480-4483.
  14. Y. Li, C. Xue, M. Wang, A. Urbas, and Q. Li. Photodynamic Chiral Molecular Switches with Thermal Stability: From Reflection Wavelength Tuning to Handedness Inversion of Self-Organized Helical Superstructures, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, 52, 13703-13707.
  15. T.-H. Lin, Y. Li, C.-T. Wang, H.-C. Jau, C.-W. Chen, C.-C. Li, H. K. Bisoyi, T. J. Bunning, and Q. Li. Red, Green and Blue Reflections Enabled in Optically Tunable Self-Organized 3D Cubic Nanostructured Thin Film. Adv. Mater. 2013, 25, 5050-5054.
  16. Y. Li, M. Wang, T. J. White, T. J. Bunning, and Q. Li. Azoarenes Bearing Opposite Chiral Configurations: Light-Driven Dynamic Reversible Handedness Inversion in Self-Organized Helical Superstructure, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, 52, 8925-8929.
  17. R. Sun, X. Ma, M. Gao, H. Tian, and Q. Li. Light-Driven Linear Helical Supramolecular Polymer Formed by Molecular-Recognition-Directed Self-Assembly of Bis-p-sulfonatocalix[4]arene and Pseudorotaxane, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 5990-5993.
  18. 18. Y. Wang, A. Urbas, and Q. Li. Reversible Visible-Light Tuning of Self-Organized Helical Superstructures Enabled by Unprecedented Light-Driven Axially Chiral Molecular Switches, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 3342-3345.
  19. 19. Y. Li, A. Urbas, and Q. Li. Reversible Light-Directed Red, Green and Blue Reflections with Thermal Stability Enabled by a Self-Organized Helical Superstructure, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 9573-9576.
  20. Y. Wang and Q. Li. Light-Driven Chiral Molecular Switches or Motors in Liquid Crystals, Adv. Mater. 2012, 24, 1926-1945.