Liquid crystals (LCs) are highly structured liquids, with orientational (nematic, cholesteric) and positional (smectic) order of constituent molecules (see figure). The type of molecular order is controlled by shape and chirality of LC molecules, with over a hundred known LC phases. Because LCs are liquids, their molecular order is sensitive to environment, e.g. temperature, electric and magnetic fields, or adsorption of chemicals. Molecular alignment in LC films results in optical properties (e.g. refractive index, reflectivity, transmission) that can vary with wavelength (color) and polarization of incident light. The two key attributes of LCs - liquid-like behavior and optical anisotropy - drive the majority of LC applications to switchable displays and optoelectronic devices.
We offer many well-defined nematic, cholecteric, and smectic molecular liquid crystals, as well as a discotic and several polymeric LC materials. In addition, we offer a selection of LC mesogens - molecular blocks known to have liquid crystalline order. LC building blocks are synthons commonly used to make LC molecules. To view the products filtered by your area of research interest, click on the "Material Type" heading in the first column and select from the drop down menu. For more specific product details, click on the Product # links.