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Investigations on Ferroelectric Liquid Crystal by High Resolution TEM and Solid State 13C NMR

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journal contribution
posted on 17.11.2011, 00:00 by Yongxia Zhao, Yanqin Yang, Jingwei Xu, Wei Yang, Yunchun Zhou, Zijiang Jiang, Xin Ge
In order to investigate the structural and dynamical properties of ferroelectric liquid crystal (FLC) in different phases a model compound [4-(3)-(S)-methyl-2-(S)-chloropentanoyloxy)]-4′-nonyloxy-biphenyl (3M2CPNOB) is synthesized. High resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM) is applied to observe the morphology of 3M2CPNOB and temperature-dependent solid state 13C NMR to record 13C chemical shifts at different phases. A liquid nitrogen quenching method is used to maintain the conformation of the mesophases for HR-TEM experiments. TEM images show that all the smectic A (SmA), smectic C* (SmC*) and crystalline phases have lamellar morphology. The interplanar distances in the crystalline phase are smaller than those in SmA and SmC* phases because of denser arrangement of the molecules. Both 13C chemical shifts and line shape vary with different phases. The experimental results suggest that SmC* phase as an intermediate occurs in the anisotropy transition process from SmA to crystalline phase, the helical structure of the SmC* phase unwinds in the magnetic field and the conformations of the SmA and isotropic phase are very similar.