The design and investigation of the self-assembly of dimers with two nematic phases†
A series of non-symmetric dimers were synthesised containing either cyanobiphenyl or difluoroterphenyl moieties on one side and a range of long, short, bent, polar or apolar mesogens on the other side of the molecules. The dielectric anisotropy of the mesogens was varied systematically. The systems were characterised by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), optical polarizing microscopy (OPM) and detailed X-ray diffraction (XRD) studies, both in the nematic and the Nx phase. The results are compared and structure–property relationships are discussed. A model for the assembly in the Nx phase is developed discussing Ntb structures, coaxial helices, swiss roll structures and chiral domain formation.