What element will react with crystalline causing it to lose it's organized pattern.
There are hundreds of reactions involving crystals that result in loss of crystallinity. A common example is oxidation.
Or if its a soluble crystal, a solvent like water.
Almost all chemical processes will, as long as the product itself is not crystalline.
That was my first thought, but I wasn't sure how rigorous the OP was by the use of the term 'element'.
Yeah, i dont think it even classes as a "reaction", to a chemist. Solvation that is. Where reaction implies a chemical reaction.
I dont know much about liquid crystals, but they could also be an exception to that rule...intresting one too.
Liquid crystal is a long polar molecule (chiral too I think).
AFAIK it is not any sort of crystal in the chemical sense.
However, when in an electric field the heads and tails line up and form a periodic array. A sort of quasicrystal that polarizes light. Without the electric field they just asume a random orientation.
I see, by quasi-crystal do you mean that the liquid develops regions of crystaline structure and some where it is still amorphous? Or that its only an induced crystallinity and not a natural one?
These are similar to magnetic domains in ferromagnets no?
The nature of the beast is such that you will have molecules that don't cooperate. So you will have some residual amorphous areas.
Primarily I just mean that, with an electric field, the liquid crystal molecules form a periodic array. Much the same way that an ordinary crystal is a periodic array of molecules or atoms. Unlike the ordinary crystal there are no chemical bonds being formed or broken as the electric field is applied. Induced crystallinity.
I suppose there is some anology here.
I don't think I would go to far with it though.
Right you are, thanks.
In the complete absense of applied external fields, you can have both long-range anisotropy as well as long-range positional ordering. It only takes an electric field to make a macroscopic single-crystal.
This is loosely analogous to the magnetization of a ferromagnet.
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