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Issue 24, 2006
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Electroclinic effect in chiral SmA* liquid crystals induced by atropisomeric biphenyl dopants: amplification of the electroclinic coefficient using achiral additives

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Abstract

The atropisomeric compound (R)-2,2′,6,6′-tetramethyl-3,3′-dinitro-4,4′-bis[(4-nonyloxybenzoyl)oxy]biphenyl ((R)-1) was doped in the achiral liquid crystal hosts 2-(4-butoxyphenyl)-5-octyloxypyrimidine (2-PhP) and 4-(4′-heptyl[1,1′-biphen]-4-yl)-1-hexylcyclohexanecarbonitrile (NCB76), and electroclinic coefficients ec were measured as a function of the dopant mole fraction x1 in the chiral SmA* phase at TTC = +5 K. The extrapolated ec values of 3.07 and 2.28 deg µm V−1 are comparable to some of the highest ec values reported for neat SmA* materials. The electroclinic coefficient of a 4 mol% mixture of (R)-1 in 2-PhP is amplified by achiral 2-phenylpyrimidine additives (5 mol%) that are longer than 2-PhP; in the best case, ec is amplified by a factor of 3.2 with 5-(tetradecyloxy)-2-(4-(tetradecyloxy)phenyl)pyrimidine (3g), which is almost twice as long as 2-PhP. However, no amplification is observed in a 4 mol% mixture of (R)-1 in NCB76 using the same series of additives. A correlation between ec values and the temperature range of the SmA* phase suggests that the amplification of ec with increasing length of the additive 3 in the (R)-1/2-PhP mixture is due primarily to a decrease in the tilt susceptibility coefficient α as the second-order SmA*–SmC* phase transition moves away from the tricritical point. Measurements of smectic layer spacing as a function of TTC by small-angle X-ray scattering are consistent with this explanation. The results show that the variation in reduced layer spacing dA/dC with TTC for the pure host 2-PhP fits to a square-root law, which indicates that the second-order SmA–C transition is nearly tricritical. On the other hand, the corresponding variation in dA/dC with TTC for a 5 mol% mixture of 3g in 2-PhP fits to a linear relation, which indicates that the second-order SmA–C transition approaches typical mean-field behavior.

Graphical abstract: Electroclinic effect in chiral SmA* liquid crystals induced by atropisomeric biphenyl dopants: amplification of the electroclinic coefficient using achiral additives

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Article information


Submitted
27 Oct 2005
Accepted
29 Mar 2006
First published
24 Apr 2006

J. Mater. Chem., 2006,16, 2329-2337
Article type
Paper

Electroclinic effect in chiral SmA* liquid crystals induced by atropisomeric biphenyl dopants: amplification of the electroclinic coefficient using achiral additives

C. S. Hartley, N. Kapernaum, J. C. Roberts, F. Giesselmann and R. P. Lemieux, J. Mater. Chem., 2006, 16, 2329
DOI: 10.1039/B515313A

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