A4.1 Lyotropic LCs

Key information

Remember that Lyotropic LCs are solutions.
Imagine a lot of pencils in a box, or spaghetti in a packet. They are all lined up in the same direction. This is like the arrangement of the solute molecules both in a thermotropic LC or of the solute molecules in a solution which forms a lyotropic LC.
Soap molecules, have rod-like hydrocarbon chains (tails) with ionic “heads”. In water at low concentrations they are distributed randomly, but at higher concentrations the soap molecules start to clump together to form a lyotropic LC arrangement.