One of the principal advantages of liquid crystals is their ability to map out thermal regions of different temperature. These cholesteric-nematic liquid crystals reversibly change color as the temperature changes. As long as the mixture is stored in a sealed container it can be prepared months in advance, although the sample may need to be remelted to mix.
Wear eye protection
Step 1. Place 0.65 g cholesteryl oleyl carbonate, 0.25 g cholesteryl pelargonate, and 0.10 g cholesteryl benzoate in a vial.
Step 2. Melt the solid in a sample vial using a hair drier, heat gun, or oven.
Step 3. While the mixture is still liquid, divide into several vials.
Step 4. The product changes color as it cools. Different compositions change color over different temperature changes.
Step 5. Touching the vial changes the temperature and results in color changes.
Use these materials with normal chemical precautions. Solids should not be inhaled and contact with skin, eyes, or clothing should be avoided. Wash thoroughly after handling.
- Cholesteryl oleyl carbonate, Aldrich 15,115-7
- Cholesteryl pelargonate (Cholesteryl nonanoate), Aldrich C7,880-1
- Cholesteryl benzoate, Aldrich C7,580-2
- 0.01 g balance, vials, heat gun or hair dryer
| Different compositions
change color over
| The movies above use
the composition in the
top row of the table.