Molecular shape as a means to control the incidence of the nanostructured twist bend phase

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Liquid crystalline phases with a spontaneous twist-bend modulation are most commonly observed for dimers and bimesogens with nonamethylene spacers. In order to redress this balance we devised a simple chemical intermediate that can be used to prepare unsymmetrical bimesogens; as a proof of concept we prepared and studied eleven novel materials with all found to exhibit the twist-bend phase and exhibit a linear relationship between TN-I and TTB-N. A computational study of the conformational landscape reveals the octamethyleneoxy spacer to have a broader distribution of bend-angles than the nonamethylene equivalent, leading to reductions in the thermal stability of the TB phase. This result indicates that a tight distribution of bend-angles should stabilise the TB phase and lead to direct TB-Iso phase transitions, and conversely a broader distribution should destabilise the TB phase which may allow new states of matter that are occluded by the incidence of this phase to be revealed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalSoft Matter
Early online date12 Mar 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

©The Royal Society of Chemistry 2018

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