Supramolecular detection of metal ion binding: Ligand conformational control of cholesteric induction in nematic liquid crystalline phases

Steffen Zahn, Gloria Proni, Gian Piero Spada, James W. Canary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Tripodal tetradentate ligands may act as chemosensor molecules. Their ability to torque a nematic into a cholesteric phase increases upon complexation with copper ion. Moreover, changes in overall shape of the complexes induced by different metals and counter ions were transferred sensitively to the supramolecular level, observed by proportionate changes in the degree of twisting. Modification of the oxidation state of the metal center also gave large changes in twisting power; this suggests potential application in electrochemical molecular switches. The handedness of the induced cholesteric phase is related to the stereochemistry of the ligand: The small amount of chiral dopant needed for the LC technique (less than 2 nmol) suggests the possible determination of the absolute configuration of the parent primary amines of the ligands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-93
Number of pages6
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 5 2001



  • Chirality
  • Circular dichroism
  • Coordination chemistry
  • Liquid crystals
  • Supramolecular chemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Organic Chemistry

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