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Tailoring liquid crystal honeycombs by head-group choice in bird-like bent-core mesogens

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Abstract

We introduce a new class of mesogens that are bird-like in shape and form honeycomb-type supramolecular liquid crystals. They have a bent pi-conjugated aromatic core as wings, a linear or branched chain as the tail and a selection of functional headgroups. Honeycombs of non-centrosymmetric trigonal type (p3m1) are obtained, along with two different complex honeycomb superlattices (p31m and p2gg) and a randomized hexagonal mesophase (p6mm). The key determinant of the self-assembled structure is the nature of interaction of the headgroup with the glycerols at the ends of the wings. The structure depends on whether the sub-columns lying along the edges of the prismatic cells contain pure or mixed headgroups and wing-end hydrogen-bonding groups. Its assembly is further controlled by reducing the tail-chain volume, inducing out-of-plane buckling of the honeycomb. These two modes of symmetry breaking lead to structural polarity both in- and out-of-plane, opening the way to applications in devices relying on properties such as ferroelectricity and second harmonic generation.

Graphical abstract: Tailoring liquid crystal honeycombs by head-group choice in bird-like bent-core mesogens

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Article information


Submitted
16 Apr 2020
Accepted
11 May 2020
First published
12 May 2020

This article is Open Access

J. Mater. Chem. C, 2020, Advance Article
Article type
Paper

Tailoring liquid crystal honeycombs by head-group choice in bird-like bent-core mesogens

Y. Li, H. Cheng, X. Zeng, Y. Tao, X. Cheng and G. Ungar, J. Mater. Chem. C, 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/D0TC01879A

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