Discovery of a tetracontinuous, aqueous lyotropic network phase with unusual 3D-hexagonal symmetry

Gregory P. Sorenson, Adam K. Schmitt, Mahesh K. Mahanthappa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Network phase aqueous lyotropic liquid crystals (LLCs) are technologically useful materials with myriad applications in chemistry, biology, and materials science, which stem from their structurally periodic aqueous and hydrophobic nanodomains (∼0.7-5.0 nm in diameter) that are lined with well-defined chemical functionalities. The exclusive observation of bicontinuous cubic network phase LLCs (e.g., double gyroid, double diamond, and primitive phases) has fueled speculations that all stable LLC network phases must exhibit cubic symmetry. Herein, we describe the self-assembly behavior of a simple aliphatic gemini surfactant that forms the first example of a triply periodic network phase LLC with the 3D-hexagonal symmetry P63/mcm (space group #193). This normal, tetracontinuous 3D-hexagonal network LLC phase HI193 partitions space into four continuous and interpenetrating, yet non-intersecting volumes. This discovery directly demonstrates that the gemini amphiphile platform furnishes a rational strategy for discovering and stabilizing new, three-dimensionally periodic multiply continuous network phase LLCs with variable symmetries and potentially new applications. This journal is

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8229-8235
Number of pages7
JournalSoft Matter
Issue number41
StatePublished - Nov 7 2014

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