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New structural model of a chiral cubic liquid crystalline phase

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Abstract

We have studied properties of novel thermotropic mesogenic materials that exhibit both an achiral double gyroid (Ia[3 with combining macron]d symmetry) and chiral cubic phase (previously assigned the Im[3 with combining macron]m symmetry). We argue that in the chiral cubic phase molecules form micelles and channels arranged into continuously interconnected hexagons. From the X-ray diffraction experiment supported by modelling, exact positions of hexagons and their connections were deduced and showed to be embedded on a WP (degenerated Neovius) minimal primitive surface. The elastic energy of such a structure is close to the one of the double gyroid phase, which is in agreement with a very low enthalpy change observed at the phase transition. We also argue that the chirality of the phase is related to the lack of mirror symmetry of non-flat hexagons accompanied by an alternating inclination of molecules in the neighbouring segments of hexagon; the chirality of individual hexagon is amplified on the whole hexagon network by steric effects.

Graphical abstract: New structural model of a chiral cubic liquid crystalline phase

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Article information


Submitted
23 Mar 2020
Accepted
19 May 2020
First published
19 May 2020

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2020, Advance Article
Article type
Paper

New structural model of a chiral cubic liquid crystalline phase

N. Vaupotič, M. Salamończyk, J. Matraszek, M. Vogrin, D. Pociecha and E. Gorecka, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/D0CP01579B

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