Paper co-authored by Escobedo’s group published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and featured in cover
Carlos Avendano, a former postdoc in Escobedo’s group and currently Lecturer in the University of Manchester, England, is the lead author of a paper recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS vol. 113, page 9699-9703, year 2016: http://www.pnas.org/content/113/35.cover-expansion). The paper titled “Assembly of porous smectic structures formed from interlocking high-symmetry planar nanorings” is the product of a collaboration of Avendano with the Escobedo group and investigators from Imperial College. In this work, molecular simulations were used to demonstrate the self-assembly of several classes of ring-shaped nano-particles into novel liquid-crystalline smectic phases. Some of these phases were found to have very high free volumes (over 95%), significantly larger than known smectic phases formed by rod-shaped or disc-shaped particles. Such wide-open, layered structures are conjectured to be good candidates for adsorption and storage materials.