Columnar self-assembly of bowl shaped fluorescent liquid crystals based on calixarene with Schiff base units†
A new family of bowl-shaped molecules with a calixarene rigid core and appended on four-sides, that display a wide range of hexagonal columnar phases, has been synthesised and well characterized. The thermal behaviours of the present compounds were established using a combination of polarising optical microscopy (POM), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and a high-temperature powder X-ray diffraction method (XRD). It is found that all of the synthesised materials show an enantiotropic hexagonal columnar liquid crystal phase. The structural and conformation characterization of these newly synthesised compounds was achieved by FT-IR, 1H NMR, and 13C NMR spectroscopy. All of the synthesised compounds exhibited good blue luminescence in solution under long wavelength UV light. To explore the structure property correlations, the alkoxy side chain group was varied from a lower alkyl spacer to a higher alkyl spacer on the lower rim of the calixarene. The present research specified that the introduction of linking groups on the lower rim with an n-alkoxy side group is an influential approach to obtaining a supramolecular bowl shape liquid crystal which has good thermal and photophysical behaviour.