Lipids are the main constituents of biological cell membranes, and their liquid crystalline properties play a crucial role in cell functions. We have discovered that dodecyl-beta-D-glucopyranoside glycolipid layers can be electrically polarized in supramolecular structures of glycolipid and bent-core ("banana-shape") molecules. Interestingly the glycolipid molecules, known to be excellent chiral dopants, are not able to transfer their chirality to the bent-core layers. Our observations indicate that glycolipid molecules self-assemble into pairs of tilted and antiferroelectric double layers, sandwiched between layers of bent-core molecules. These systems may provide a basis for understanding "bioferroelectricity," which is important in biological cell membrane functions.
Physical Review E
Copyright 2004 American Physical Society. Available on publisher's site at http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.69.021703
Abeygunaratne, Sugat; Jakli, Antal; Milkereit, Gotz; Sawade, Hans; Vill, Volkmar (2004). Antiferroelectric Ordering of Amphiphilic Glycolipids in Bent-Core Liquid Crystals. Physical Review E 69(2) doi: 10.1103/PhysRevE.69.021703. Retrieved from https://oaks.kent.edu/cpippubs/159