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A Nematic to Nematic Transformation Exhibited by a Rod-Like Liquid Crystal

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JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
DateAccepted/In press - 11 Apr 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print - 12 Apr 2017
DatePublished (current) - 14 May 2017
Issue number18
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)11429-11435
Early online date12/04/17
Original languageEnglish


A novel, highly polar rod-like liquid crystal was found to exhibit two distinct nematic mesophases (N and Nx). When studied by microscopy and X-ray scattering experiments, and under applied electric fields, the nematic phases are practically identical. However, calorimetry experiments refute the possibility of an intervening smectic mesophase, and the transformation between the nematic phases was associated with a weak thermal event. Analysis of measured dielectric data, along with molecular properties obtained from DFT calculations, applying the Maier-Meier relationship allowed for the degree of antiparallel pairing of dipoles in both nematic phases to be quantified. Based on the results, we conclude that the onset of the lower temperature phase is driven by the formation of antiparallel molecular associations.

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