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Ferroelectric metallomesogens composed of achiral spin crossover molecules

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Abstract

Ferroelectric liquid crystals (FLCs) are fascinating functional materials that have a remnant and electrically invertible polarization. To date, typical FLCs have been mainly realized by molecular design such as the incorporation of chirality into a given molecular structure. Here, we report for the first time ferroelectricity induced by spin transition associated with a crystal – liquid crystal phase transition in achiral molecules. Iron(II) metallomesogens incorporating alkyl chains of type [Fe(3Cn-bzimpy)2](BF4)2 (n = 8 (1), 10 (2), 12 (3), 14 (4), 16 (5) and 18 (6); bzimpy = 2,6-bis(benzimidazol-2′-yl)pyridine) that exhibit spin crossover (SCO) phenomena have been synthesized. Compounds 5 and 6 were each demonstrated to show SCO behaviour along with the occurrence of a phase transition between the crystalline (Cr) state and corresponding chiral smectic C (SmC*) state. The distortion of the coordination sphere in the high spin state is seen to trigger the generation of the SmC* state. The liquid crystalline compounds do not display ferroelectric behaviour in their Cr state but do exhibit ferroelectric hysteresis loops in their SmC* state. Ferroelectric switching was clearly confirmed by second harmonic generation (SHG) experiments involving the respective phases. These findings will undoubtedly lead to new strategies for the design of new FLCs based on metal-centred spin transitions.

Graphical abstract: Ferroelectric metallomesogens composed of achiral spin crossover molecules

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Publication details

The article was received on 12 Mar 2019, accepted on 09 May 2019 and first published on 10 May 2019


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C9SC01229J
Chem. Sci., 2019, Advance Article
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
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    Ferroelectric metallomesogens composed of achiral spin crossover molecules

    R. Akiyoshi, Y. Hirota, D. Kosumi, M. Tsutsumi, M. Nakamura, L. F. Lindoy and S. Hayami, Chem. Sci., 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9SC01229J

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