Gas permeation through liquid crystal (LC) films was examined using hemispherical smectic bubbles. A smectic bubble, when the inside and the outside are filled with different gases, should expand or shrink toward the quasi-equilibrium state, where the influx and efflux caused by osmotic pressure are balanced. Deriving a simple formula that directly converts the quasi-equilibrated bubble radius to the gas permeation, we determined the absolute permeability coefficients of 8 simple gases through the smectic bubble. The permeability was distributed in such a wide range that carbon-dioxide had more than 20 times larger value than nitrogen, the dependence of which on the gas species was mostly dominated by their solubility into the LCs. Dividing the measured permeability by the calculated solubility, we obtained the diffusion constants as well, yet whose magnitude and the dependence on the solute size could not be explained by either conventional continuum theories or microscopic diffusion models. In order to describe the diffusion of small solutes in the liquid solvent composed of large molecules, a new theoretical framework may be necessary.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- 化学 (全般)