Stable and oriented liquid crystal droplets stabilized by imidazolium ionic liquids

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Liquid crystals represent a fascinating intermediate state of matter, with dynamic yet or-ganized molecular features and untapped opportunities in sensing. Several works report the use of liquid crystal droplets formed by microfluidics and stabilized by surfactants such as sodium do-decyl sulfate (SDS). In this work, we explore, for the first time, the potential of surface-active ionic liquids of the imidazolium family as surfactants to generate in high yield, stable and oriented liquid crystal droplets. Our results show that [C12MIM][Cl], in particular, yields stable, uniform and mon-odisperse droplets (diameter 74 ± 6 µm; PDI = 8%) with the liquid crystal in a radial configuration, even when compared with the standard SDS surfactant. These findings reveal an additional application for ionic liquids in the field of soft matter.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6044
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2021


  • Imidazolium ionic liquids
  • Liquid crystal droplets
  • microfluidics


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