A novel organic-inorganic hybrid thermotropic liquid crystal (LC) is developed by the hybridization of an organic phosphate having a mesogenic core and monodispersed α-Fe2O3 particles with different shapes through the specific adsorption of the phosphate group to the surfaces parallel to the c-axis of the α-Fe2O3. The hybrid LC shows thermotropic nematic or cubic liquid-crystallinity in wide ranges of temperatures. Variable-temperature small-angle X-ray measurements reveal that the spontaneous formation of periodic structure by the hybridization induces the thermotropic liquid crystallinity. This technique would lead development of novel types of dynamic functional materials with multi-responsiveness to magnetic and electric fields.
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