Molecular shape can have a significant effect. When the molecular length, width, and depth are all different, isotropic, uniaxial nematic, discotic, and biaxial phases may be seen. The relative stability of these phases depends on both density and molecular shape.
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In other studies we have varied the length-to-width ratio of the molecules, the strength of the attractions between them, and have added flexible tails and dipole moments, studying the effects on phase stability.
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Biaxial molecules forming a discotic phase. The orientation spheroid for each molecular axis appears in the corner.