Liquid crystals (LCs) are considered as the “fourth state of matter,” which can display properties between crystals and isotropic liquids. LCs can be classified into lyotropic liquid crystals (LLCs) and thermotropic liquid crystals (TLCs), among which LLCs are a kind of self-assemblies formed by amphiphile molecules in a given solvent within certain concentration ranges. The structures and properties of LLCs can be tuned by the incorporation of various kinds of additives, which represents an interesting and novel route for realizing functional composites. This review focuses on recent progress on LLCs-based materials assembled with diverse additives including carbon nanotubes, graphene, graphene oxide, and biomolecules. The thermal stability and mechanical strength of the host LLCs can be greatly improved after the guests are incorporated. In addition, new functions such as conductivity, photothermal effect, and bioactivity can be introduced by the incorporation of the guests, which significantly widens the applications of LLCs-based hybrids in nanotechnology, electrochemistry, drug delivery, and life science.
Part of the book: Liquid Crystals