Influence of the core structure on the development of polar order and superstructural chirality in liquid crystalline phases formed by silylated bent-core molecules: lateral substituents†
The influence of lateral substituents was studied for a new series of bent-core liquid crystals with heptamethyltrisiloxane units at both ends of the aliphatic side chains. These materials were investigated by polarized light microscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, X-ray scattering and electro-optical methods. An antiferroelectric switching columnar phase was found for the non-substituted compound. Different types of non-switching columnar phases were obtained for molecules having substituents (CH3, NO2) in the bay position, whereas a temperature-dependent transition from polar to non-polar smectic phases was found for molecules having substituents (Cl, CN) adjacent to one of the ester linking units. For the CN-substituted compound a new phase sequence SmCPA–SmC–CubV–Iso was observed. The occurrence of the cubic phase is associated with a steric frustration due to the bulky silyl groups. The special rectangular columnar mesophase of the nitro-substituted compound is discussed with respect to its relation to B7-type mesophases.