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Reference type: Journal
Authors: Courty S, Tajbakhsh AR, Terentjev EM
Article Title: Stereo-selective swelling of imprinted cholesteric networks.
Publication date: 2003
Journal: Physical Review Letters
Volume: 91
Issue: (8)
Page numbers: art-085503.
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.91.085503
Alternative URL: http://www.bss.phy.cam.ac.uk/~emt1000/stereo1.pdf

Abstract: Molecular chirality, and the chiral symmetry breaking of resulting macroscopic phases, can be topologically imprinted and manipulated by cross-linking and swelling of polymer networks. We present a new experimental approach to stereo- specific separation of chiral isomers by using a cholesteric elastomer in which a helical director distribution has been topologically imprinted by cross-linking. This makes the material unusual in that is has a strong phase chirality, but no molecular chirality at all; we study the nature and parameters controlling the twist-untwist transition. Adding a racemic mixture to the imprinted network results in selective swelling by only the component of "correct" handedness. We investigate the capacity of demixing in a racemic environment, which depends on network parameters and the underlying nematic order

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