Novel sulphonic acid liquid crystal derivatives: experimental, computational and optoelectrical characterizations†
A novel liquid crystal homologous series based on the benzene sulphonic acid moiety, namely (E)-4-((4-((4-(alkoxy)benzoyl)oxy)benzylidene)amino)benzenesulfonic acid (Sn), was synthesized and examined via different experimental and theoretical measurements. The four synthesized members have terminally connected alkoxy chain groups, which vary between 6 and 12 carbons. FT-IR and NMR spectroscopy, as well as elemental analyses, were used to confirm their molecular structures. Mesomorphic and optical investigations of the prepared homologues were also conducted using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and polarized optical microscopy (POM). The DSC and POM characterization revealed that all of the synthesized sulphonic acid members are monomorphic, exhibiting a pure smectic A (SmA) mesophase with enantiotropic properties. Moreover, all compounds in the group have high thermal transition temperatures. The terminal electron-withdrawing group –SO3H plays a considerable role in the stabilization of the molecule, which in return resulted in high thermal SmA stability. Furthermore, the experimental data relating to the mesophase behavior were substantiated via computational studies using the DFT approach. In addition, the terminal –SO3H moiety has an essential impact on the thermal and physical parameters of possible geometries. All members of the synthesized Sn series exhibit ohmic behavior with electrical resistance in the GΩ range, as revealed by electrical measurements. The S10 electrode had the highest electrical conductivity: 35.16 pS. It also showed two direct optical band gaps of 3.58 and 3.23 eV with Urbach energies of 1261.1 and 502.4 meV. Upon decreasing the number of carbon atoms to n = 6, the main bandgap for S6 reduced to 3.3 eV. The highest conductivity, good absorption, and two large bandgaps recorded for the chain derivative S10 make it suitable for investigations relating to energy-based applications.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Liquid Crystals Science and Technology