Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

M. Eng.


Chemical Engineering

Committee Chair

Willing, Gerold A.




Nanoscience is not about products becoming smaller and smaller, but about new material properties being exploited for new and enhanced product applications. Liquid crystalline materials are one branch of "nanomaterials" that has promise of highly useful products. Liquid crystalline materials are soft materials that can respond to external stimuli and form ordered structures. Liquid crystals have applications as templates for more complex nanostructures as well as sensing devices. The purpose of this study was to investigate, using atomic force microscopy, the characteristics of a liquid crystalline, nanoparticle, composite material to determine whether or not it was indeed forming ordered, hydrophilic channels lined with gold nanoparticles. Atomic force microscopy showed that these channels were indeed forming, but further investigation will be necessary before the structures could be controlled and exploited.