Vapor deposition of a nonmesogen prepares highly structured organic glasses

TitleVapor deposition of a nonmesogen prepares highly structured organic glasses
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsBishop, Camille, Jacob L. Thelen, Elio Gann, Michael F. Toney, Lian Yu, Dean M. DeLongchamp, and M. D. Ediger
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Date Published09/2019

We show that glasses with aligned smectic liquid crystal-like order can be produced by physical vapor deposition of amoleculewithout 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 near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure (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 prep- aration of a glass with orientational and translational order from a nonliquid crystal opens up an exciting paradigm for accessing ex- treme anisotropy in glassy solids.