CHAPTER 7: Optic and Electronic Applications of Molecular Gels
Published:05 Nov 2013
Molecular gels present an ideal opportunity for the preparation of materials in which a fibre-like morphology is required because of their inherent characteristic of containing relatively well ordered supramolecular polymer chains. Molecular gels have been prepared from virtually all of the important classes of molecules that are used in optical and electronic applications, and they show that the gel route is advantageous over other states, such as crystals, because of the ease of processing and deposition on surfaces. In this respect, gels are also preferable to casting from homogeneous fluid solutions, because the role of the surface is less important. On the other hand, gels provide a unique opportunity for the preparation of hybrids and composites, and the few examples in this area suggest that new materials with unique properties could be achieved through this approach. Equally, the self-sorting or orthogonal self-assembly of molecular gels for materials preparation is likely to find application in the optics and electronics areas. Liquid-crystalline gels are shown to be interesting in their own right for display applications and the challenge of making molecule-derived aerogels for conducting and sensing applications is highlighted.