A nematic to nematic transformation exhibited by a rod-like liquid crystal†
A novel, highly polar rod-like liquid crystal was found to exhibit two distinct nematic mesophases (N and NX). When studied by microscopy and X-ray scattering experiments, and under applied electric fields, the nematic phases are practically identical. However, calorimetry experiments refute the possibility of an intervening smectic mesophase, and the transformation between the nematic phases was associated with a weak thermal event. Analysis of measured dielectric data, along with molecular properties obtained from DFT calculations, applying the Maier–Meier relationship allowed for the degree of antiparallel pairing of dipoles in both nematic phases to be quantified. Based on the results, we conclude that the onset of the lower temperature phase is driven by the formation of antiparallel molecular associations.