Strongly halogen-bonded complexes are formed between 4-alkoxyphenyl-4-pyridines and iodine as well as the interhalogen compounds ICl and IBr, and examples of each are characterised by single crystal X-ray crystallography. On heating, all but one of the complexes display a liquid-crystalline smectic A phase, although there is evidence of decomposition as the materials are heated through the mesophase. For such short molecules, the mesophases are rather stable and small-angle X-ray scattering shows that the complexes form a type of antiparallel, head-to-head dimeric arrangement in the mesophase. Quantum chemical calculations at the DFT (M06-2X) and MP2 levels of theory show the complexes to have very high dipole moments (between ≈ 9-12 D) and the mesophase stability of the complexes is rationalised in terms of antiparallel correlations induced by the strong molecular dipoles.
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