What makes a liquid crystal? The effect of free volume on soft matter

John W. Goodby*, Richard J. Mandle, Edward J. Davis, Tingjun Zhong, Stephen J. Cowling

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this article, we probe the formation of liquid crystal and soft crystal phases as a consequence of minimising the free volume of the system either through design engineering of molecular shape or through deformation of molecular architecture. Following this concept, a number of realisations were made, for example, smectic A phases with variable layer spacing, smectic C phases without layer shrinkage, lattices of free space and fibres in N<inf>TB</inf> phases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-622
Number of pages30
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2015


  • free volume
  • liquid crystal
  • NTB
  • smectic
  • soft crystal
  • soft matter

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