J. Phys. II France
Volume 5, Numéro 4, April 1995
Page(s) 587 - 605
DOI: 10.1051/jp2:1995151
J. Phys. II France 5 (1995) 587-605

Novel modulated Hexatic Phases in Symmetric Liquid Crystal Dimers

R.W. Date1, G.R. Luckhurst1, M. Shuman2 and J.M. Seddon2

1  Department of Chemistry, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ, Great Britain
2  Department of Chemistry, Imperial College, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2AY, Great Britain

(Received 24 October 1994, revised in final form 9 January 1995, accepted 10 January 1995)

Homologues of the dimeric $\alpha,\omega$-bis(4- n-alkylanilinebenzylidene-4'-oxy)alkanes ( m.O nO .m) have been synthesised with spacer lengths n ranging from 9 to 12 methylene units and with terminal alkyl chain lengths m of 10, 12 and 14. Characterisation of these materials has been carried out by X-ray diffraction, differential scanning calorimetry and optical microscopy. In six of these compounds a novel modulated tilted hexatic phase, denoted S 1, has been identified, in which the smectic layers have a periodic modulation in their structure, analogous to the S $_{\tilde {\rm C}}$ ribbon phase. This modulated hexatic phase is only observed for dimers with an odd parity spacer, suggesting that the average modelular shape, believed to be bent for the odd spacer dimers but linear for the even ones, is responsible for its formation. The compound 10.O9O.10 exhibits a second modulated hexatic phase denoted S 2, which is monotropic, and which cannot be distinguished from the S 1 phase by polarizing microscopy or by calorimetry. These long chain dimeric liquid crystals have been found to have a strong tendency to form tilted hexatic phases; indeed two of the compounds studied here are the first dimers to undergo a transition directly from a tilted hexatic phase to the isotropic liquid.

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