Travelling colourful patterns in self-organized cellulose-based liquid crystalline structures

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Cellulose-based systems are useful for many applications. However, the issue of self-organization under non-equilibrium conditions, which is ubiquitous in living matter, has scarcely been addressed in cellulose-based materials. Here, we show that quasi-2D preparations of a lyotropic cellulose-based cholesteric mesophase display travelling colourful patterns, which are generated by a chemical reaction-diffusion mechanism being simultaneous with the evaporation of solvents at the boundaries. These patterns involve spatial and temporal variation in the amplitude and sign of the helix´s pitch. We propose a simple model, based on a reaction-diffusion mechanism, which simulates the observed spatiotemporal colour behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Article number79
JournalCommunications Materials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


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