Characterization of New Carbosilane Liquid Crystalline Monomers and Dimers
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‘De Vries-like’ smectic liquid crystals exhibit low layer contraction of approximately 1% on transitions from the SmA to the SmC phase. These materials have received considerable attention as potential solutions for problems affecting liquid crystal displays using surface-stabilized ferroelectric liquid crystals (SSFLC). In SSFLCs, layer contraction of 710% is normally observed during the SmA to SmC phase transition. A study by the Lemieux group has shown that liquid crystals with nanosegregating carbosilane segments exhibit enhanced ‘de Vries-like’ properties through the formation of smectic layers and by lengthening the nanosegregating carbosilane end-groups from monocarbosilane to tricarbosilane. This observed enhancement is assumed to be due to an increase in the cross-section of the free volume in the hydrocarbon sub-layer. To test this hypothesis, it is assumed that dimers with a tricarbosilane linking group have smaller cross-sections on time average. In his thesis, this hypothesis is tested through the characterization of new liquid crystalline monomers (QL39-n) and dimers (QL40-n) with 2-phenylpyrimidine cores and tricarbosilane end-groups and spacers, respectively. The thesis describes the synthesis of two homologous series of liquid crystals and their characterization using a variety of techniques, including polarized optical microscopy, differential scanning calorimetry and X-ray diffraction. The results show that the monomers QL39-n form a tilted SmC phase only, whereas the dimers QL40-n form an orthogonal SmA phase. These results are discussed in the context of our hypothesis.