By the same authors

From the same journal

From molecules to materials: Engineering new ionic liquid crystals through halogen bonding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Gabriella Cavallo
  • Duncan W. Bruce
  • Giancarlo Terraneo
  • Giuseppe Resnati
  • Pierangelo Metrangolo


Publication details

JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
DateAccepted/In press - 8 Jun 2017
DatePublished (current) - 24 Mar 2018
Issue number133
Number of pages11
Original languageEnglish


Herein, we demonstrate that a bottom-up approach, based on halogen bonding (XB), can be successfully applied for the design of a new type of ionic liquid crystals (ILCs). Taking advantages of the high specificity of XB for haloperfluorocarbons and the ability of anions to act as XB-acceptors, we obtained supramolecular complexes based on 1-alkyl-3-methylimidazolium iodides and iodoperfluorocarbons, overcoming the well-known immiscibility between hydrocarbons (HCs) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs). The high directionality of the XB combined with the fluorophobic effect, allowed us to obtain enantiotropic liquid crystals where a rigid, non-aromatic, XB supramolecular anion acts as mesogenic core. X-ray structure analysis of the complex between 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium iodide and iodoperfluorooctane showed the presence of a layered structure, which is a manifestation of the well-known tendency to segregation of perfluoroalkyl chains. This is consistent with the observation of smectic mesophases. Moreover, all the reported complexes melt below 100 °C, and most are mesomorphic even at room temperature, despite that the starting materials were non-mesomorphic in nature. The supramolecular strategy reported here provides new design principles for mesogen design allowing a totally new class of functional materials.

Bibliographical note

© The Authors 2018.

    Research areas

  • Fluorophobic effect, Halogen bonding, Haloperfluorocarbons, Imidazolium salts, Ionic liquids, Liquid crystals, Self-assembly, Supramolecular chemistry

Discover related content

Find related publications, people, projects, datasets and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations