Liquid crystal semiconductors

Soft matter and liquid crystals

Giesselmann group

Polydomain columnar liquid crystal sample on top of a comb-like electrode structure.
Polydomain columnar liquid crystal sample on top of a comb-like electrode structure. [P. Staffeld et al. J. Mater. Chem. C 1, 892 (2013).]

Liquid crystal semiconductors

Since the discovery of Haarer et al. in 1993 [Phys. Rev. Lett. 70, 457 (1993)] that the columnar phases of discotic liquid crystals are 1D-photo-conductors, the electric charge transport in columnar liquid crystals has turned into one of the most active fields in organic materials leading to potential applications such as organic field effect transistors (OFETs), organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) or organic photovoltaic cells (OPVs). Even after 20 years of intense research the molecular design of discotic mesogens tailored for these applications is still a challenging task: apparently minor changes in the molecular structure of the mesogen can highly affect the packing and the transport properties of the columnar phases.

In close collaboration with the groups of Sabine Laschat (Organic Chemistry, Stuttgart) and Sabine Ludwigs (Functional Polymers, Stuttgart) we investigate the connections between the structures and the charge transport properties of new liquid crystal materials. Recent work focused on crown-ether based discotic mesogens, where molecular flexibility and geometry can be varied without changing the π-electronic system of the mesogens.

Selected publications

Design of conductive crown ether based columnar liquid crystals: impact of molecular flexibility and geometry
P. Staffeld, M. Kaller, S. J. Beardsworth, K. Tremel, S. Ludwigs, S. Laschat, F. Giesselmann, Journal of Materials Chemistry C 1, 892-901 (2013). DOI: 10.1039/C2TC00284A

Discotic Liquid Crystals: From Tailor-Made Synthesis to Plastic Electronics
S. Laschat, A. Baro, N. Steinke, F. Giesselmann, C. Hägele, G. Scalia, R. Judele, E. Kapatsina, S. Sauer, A. Schreivogel, and M. Tosoni, Angewandte Chemie International Edition 46, 4832-4887 (2007). DOI: 10.1002/anie.200604203


This image shows Frank Gießelmann

Frank Gießelmann

Prof. Dr.


This image shows Nadia Kapernaum

Nadia Kapernaum


Senior Scientist

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