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Liquid-Crystalline Dimers Composed of Bent-Core Mesogenic Units

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journal contribution
posted on 07.02.2006, 00:00 by B. Kosata, G.-M. Tamba, U. Baumeister, K. Pelz, S. Diele, G. Pelzl, G. Galli, S. Samaritani, E. V. Agina, N. I. Boiko, V. P. Shibaev, W. Weissflog
Systematic studies on symmetric twin molecules composed of two bent-core mesogenic units are reported for the first time. It is shown that the formation of mesophases mainly depends on the chemical structure of the spacer. A sufficiently flexible spacer containing dimethylsiloxane units allows a decoupling of the mesogenic moieties; the related compounds exhibit a ferroelectric SmCP phase proved by electro-optical measurements. On the basis of X-ray data, a plausible structure model is presented. The connection of two bent-core mesogenic units by means of a tetraethylene glycol spacer results in dimers, which are able to form columnar phases. For twins containing a simple hydrocarbon chain as spacer, in most cases liquid-crystalline behavior could not be detected. These general tendencies remain valid if the bent-core unit is changed, e.g., by increasing the number of aromatic rings, by lateral substitution, and by inversion of the direction of one of the connecting groups between the aromatic rings, respectively. The mesophase behavior of the new dimers is compared with that of the corresponding single-unit compounds as well as a related dendrimer and a polymer. It is of interest that the antiferroelectric switching behavior found for the nonchiral “monomeric” compounds is changed to a ferroelectric behavior for the dimeric compounds.

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