Synthesis and phase behaviour of a homologous series of polymethacrylate-based side-chain liquid crystal polymers

Andrew G. Cook, Rachel T. Inkster, Alfonso Martinez-Felipe, Amparo Ribes-Greus, Ian W. Hamley, Corrie Thomas Imrie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The homologous series of side chain liquid crystal polymers, the poly[omega-(4-methoxyazobenzene-4'-oxy)alkyl methacrylate]s, has been prepared in which the length of the flexible alkyl spacer has been varied from 3 to 11 methylene units. All the polymers exhibit liquid crystalline behaviour. The propyl and butyl members show exclusively nematic behaviour. The pentyl, hexyl, octyl and decyl members show a nematic and a smectic A phase while the heptyl, nonyl and undecyl homologues exhibit only a smectic A phase. The smectic A phase has been studied using X-ray diffraction and assigned as a smectic A(1) phase in which the side chains are fully overlapped and the backbones are confined to lie between the smectic layers. For the nonyl member an incommensurate smectic phase is observed. The dependence of the transition temperatures on the length of the flexible spacer is understood in terms of the average shapes of the side chains. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)821-829
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Polymer Journal
Volume48
Issue number4
Early online date8 Feb 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012

Keywords

  • Liquid crystals
  • Side chain liquid crystal polymer
  • Smectic A phase
  • TRANSFER RADICAL POLYMERIZATION
  • CHARGE-TRANSFER GROUPS
  • 633 NM LIGHT
  • HE-NE-LASER
  • P-METHOXYAZOBENZENE
  • THERMAL-PROPERTIES
  • PHOTOINDUCED REORIENTATION
  • TRANSITIONAL PROPERTIES
  • SPACER LENGTH
  • BACKBONE FLEXIBILITY

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