by Staff Writers
Hanover NH (SPX) Sep 05, 2013

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Dartmouth researchers have developed a molecular switch that changes a liquid crystal’s readout color based on a chemical input. This new development may open the way for using liquid crystals in detecting harmful gases, pathogens, explosives and other chemical substances.

One of the challenges in the field of molecular switches and machines is the translation of molecular level motion into macroscopic level events by harnessing light or chemical energy — think of a molecular-sized light switch that can be turned on and off.

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