Phytantriol Q224 cubic phase, as a bicontinuous meso-structured material stable in contact with aqueous electrolyte, has found applications in drug delivery and cosmetics and is employed here as a free-standing film separating two aqueous compartments in order to study i) ion conductivity (at low potential bias within ±0.8V), ii) conductivity switching effects (at high potential bias beyond ±0.8V), and iii) phase switching effects (as a function of temperature). A microhole of approximately 20μm diameter in a 6μm thick poly-ethylene-terephthalate film is employed as the support coated with phytantriol (on a single side or on both sides) in contact with aqueous electrolyte phase on both sides in a classic four-electrode measurement cell. The conductivity of the phytantriol phase within the microhole is shown to be ionic strength, applied potential, time/history, and temperature dependent. The experimental data for asymmetric phytantriol deposits are indicative of a microhole resistance that can be switched between two states (high and low resistance associated with a filled or empty microhole, respectively). When heating symmetrically applied films of phytantriol, Q224-to-HII phase transition linked to a jump to a higher specific resistivity is observed, which is consistent with differential scanning calorimetry data for this phase transition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1172-1180
Issue number5
Early online date24 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - May 2017


  • Conductivity
  • Impedance
  • Memory
  • Mesophase
  • Voltammetry


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