Two-Photon Laser Microprinting of Highly Ordered Nanoporous Materials Based on Hexagonal Columnar Liquid Crystals

  • Author:

    J. Monti, A. Concellón, R. Dong, M. Simmler, A. Münchinger, C. Huck, P. Tegeder, H. Nirschl, M. Wegener, C.O. Osuji, and E. Blasco

  • Source:

    ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 14, 33746–33755 (2022)

  • Date: 18.07.2022
  • Abstract:

    Nanoporous materials relying on supramolecular liquid crystals (LCs) are excellent candidates for size- and charge-selective membranes. However, whether they can be manufactured using printing technologies remained unexplored so far. In this work, we develop a new approach for the fabrication of ordered nanoporous microstructures based on supramolecular LCs using two-photon laser printing. In particular, we employ photo-cross-linkable hydrogen-bonded complexes, that self-assemble into columnar hexagonal (Colh) mesophases, as the base of our printable photoresist. The presence of photopolymerizable groups in the periphery of the molecules enables the printability using a laser. We demonstrate the conservation of the Colh arrangement and of the adsorptive properties of the materials after laser microprinting, which highlights the potential of the approach for the fabrication of functional nanoporous structures with a defined geometry. This first example of printable Colh LC should open new opportunities for the fabrication of functional porous microdevices with potential application in catalysis, filtration, separation, or molecular recognition.