Monodisperse nanosheet mesophases



Nobuyoshi Miyamoto, Momoka Miyoshi, Riki Kato, Yuji Nakashima, Hiroyuki Iwano, and Takashi Kato



Self-assemblies of anisotropic colloidal particles into colloidal liquid crystals and well-defined superlattices are of great interest for hierarchical nanofabrications that are applicable for various functional materials. Inorganic nanosheets obtained by exfoliation of layered crystals have been highlighted as the intriguing colloidal units; however, the size polydispersity of the nanosheets has been preventing precise design of the assembled structures and their functions. Here, we demonstrate that the anionic titanate nanosheets with monodisperse size reversibly form very unusual superstructured mesophases through finely tunable weak attractive interactions between the nanosheets. Transmission electron microscopy, polarizing optical microscopy, small-angle x-ray scattering, and confocal laser scanning microscopy clarified the reversible formation of the mesophases (columnar nanofibers, columnar nematic liquid crystals, and columnar nanofiber bundles) as controlled by counter cations, nanosheet concentration, solvent, and temperature.



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