Synthesis and Mesomorphic Properties of Rigid-Core Ionic Liquid Crystals
journal contributionposted on 14.11.2007, 00:00 by Paul H. J. Kouwer, Timothy M. Swager
Ionic liquid crystals combine the unique solvent properties of ionic liquids with self-organization found for liquid crystals. We report a detailed analysis of the structure−property relationship of a series of new imidazolium-based liquid crystals with an extended aromatic core. Investigated parameters include length and nature of the tails, the length of the rigid core, the lateral substitution pattern, and the nature of the counterion. Depending on the molecular structure, two mesophases were observed: a bilayered SmA2 phase and the more common monolayered SmA phase, both strongly interdigitated. Most materials show mesophases stable to high temperatures. For some cases, crystallization could be suppressed, and room-temperature liquid crystalline phases were obtained. The mesomorphic properties of several mixtures of ionic liquid crystals were investigated. Many mixtures showed full miscibility and ideal mixing behavior; however, in some instances we observed, surprisingly, complete demixing of the component SmA phases. The ionic liquid crystals and mixtures presented have potential applications, due to their low melting temperatures, wide temperature ranges, and stability with extra ion-doping.