Dielectric, calorimetric and mesophase properties of 1 ''-(2 ',4-difluorobiphenyl-4 '-yloxy)-9 ''-(4-cyano-biphenyl-4 '-yloxy) nonane: an odd liquid crystal dimer with a monotropic mesophase having the characteristics of a twist-bend nematic phase
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This paper reports a novel liquid crystal phase having the characteristics of a twist-bend nematic phase formed by a non-symmetric ether-linked liquid crystal dimer. The dimer 1 ''-(2',4-difluorobiphenyl-4'-yloxy)-9 ''-(4-cyanobiphenyl-4'-yloxy) nonane (FFO9OCB) exhibits two liquid-crystalline phases on cooling at a sufficiently high rate from the isotropic phase. The high temperature mesophase has been reported in the literature as nematic and confirmed in this study. The other mesophase is metastable and can be supercooled giving rise to a glassy state. Its identification and characterization are based on optical textures, broadband dielectric spectroscopy, calorimetry, measurements of both splay and bend elastic constants in the nematic phase and miscibility studies. It is concluded that the low temperature mesophase exhibits the characteristics of a twist-bend nematic phase. Dielectric measurements enable us to obtain the static permittivity and information about the molecular dynamics in the isotropic phase, in the nematic mesophase and across the isotropic-to-nematic phase transition. Two orientations, parallel and perpendicular to the director, have been investigated. In the high temperature nematic mesophase, the dielectric anisotropy is found to be positive. Measurements of the parallel component of the dielectric permittivity are well-explained by the molecular theory of dielectric relaxation in nematic dimers (M. Stocchero, A. Ferrarini, G. J. Moro, D. A. Dunmur and G. R. Luckhurst, J. Chem. Phys., 2004, 121, 8079). The dimer is modelled as a mixture of cis and trans conformers and the model allows an estimate of their relative populations at each temperature. The nematic-to-isotropic phase transition has been exhaustively studied from the accurate evolution of the heat capacity and the static dielectric permittivity data. It has been concluded that the transition is first order in nature, but close to tricritical. The nature of the nematic-to-the novel liquid crystal phase transition is difficult to analyze to the same extent because of insufficient precision. Only observations at cooling rates of 10 K min(-1) or higher were possible because on heating from the glassy state, the twist-bend nematic mesophase crystallizes at temperatures far below the nematic-nematic phase transition.
CitationSebastian, N. [et al.]. Dielectric, calorimetric and mesophase properties of 1 ''-(2 ',4-difluorobiphenyl-4 '-yloxy)-9 ''-(4-cyano-biphenyl-4 '-yloxy) nonane: an odd liquid crystal dimer with a monotropic mesophase having the characteristics of a twist-bend nematic phase. "Physical chemistry chemical physics", 21 Octubre 2014, vol. 16, núm. 39, p. 21391-21406.