Liquid crystals are widely used in displays for portable electronic information display. To broaden their scope for other applications like smart windows and tags, new material properties such as polarizer-free operation and tunable memory of a written state become important. Here, we describe an anhydrous nanoDNA-surfactant thermotropic liquid crystal system, which exhibits distinctive electrically controlled optical absorption, and temperature-dependent memory. In the liquid crystal isotropic phase, electric field-induced colouration and bleaching have a switching time of seconds. Upon transition to the smectic liquid crystal phase, optical memory of the written state is observed for many hours without applied voltage. The reorientation of the DNA-surfactant lamellar layers plays an important role in preventing colour decay. Thereby, the volatility of optoelectronic state can be controlled simply by changing the phase of the material. This research may pave the way for developing a new generation of DNA-based, phase-modulated, photoelectronic devices.
- ONE-ELECTRON OXIDATION
- RADICAL CATIONS