Liquid crystal dimers and higher oligomers: Between monomers and polymers

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

467 Citations (Scopus)


The underlying theme of this Critical Review is the relationship between molecular structure and liquid crystalline behaviour in a class of materials referred to as liquid crystal oligomers. For the purposes of this review, a liquid crystal oligomer will be defined as consisting of molecules composed of semi-rigid mesogenic units connected via flexible spacers. Much of the review will be devoted to structure -property relationships in the simplest oligomers, namely dimers, in which just two mesogenic units are connected by a single spacer. Along the way we will see how this molecular architecture has been exploited to address issues in a range of quite different areas and has given rise to potential applications for these materials. On the whole, only compounds in which the mesogenic units are linked essentially in a linear fashion will be considered while structures such as liquid crystal dendrimers and tetrapodes fall outside the scope of this review. The review will be of interest not only to scientists working directly in this area but in particular to those interested in understanding the relationships between structure and properties in polymers, and those designing materials for new applications (231 references).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2096-2124
Number of pages29
JournalChemical Society Reviews
Issue number12
Early online date17 Oct 2007
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007


  • smectic mesophase properties
  • mesogenic P,P'-bibenzoate unit
  • laterally connected twins
  • phase-transition behavior
  • flexible alkylene spacer
  • glass-forming properties
  • biaxial nemetic phase
  • bent-core molecules
  • dimesogenic compounds
  • rod-like


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