Institute of Innovative Research, 
Tokyo Institute of Technology.


Press Release

Can a flowing liquid-like material maintain its structural order like crystals?

Scientists at Tokyo Tech discovered a chiral compound, which can spontaneously form a molecular assembly with an extremely large single domain structure beyond a size regime incapable of realizing with usual molecular self-assembly. The chiral compound, when heated and left to cool on a solid substrate, gives a droplet featuring a single-crystal-like structure. When the substrate is set up vertically, the droplet exhibits sliding and rotating motion controlled by the chirality while preserving the single-crystalline structural order. The scientists investigated the origin of the very unique structuring and macroscopic rotational sliding behavior. These findings will extend our understanding of the formation and motility of soft matter with a higher-order structure.