Effects of Monomer Structure on Their Organization and Polymerization in a Smectic Liquid Crystal

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Science  03 Jan 1997:
Vol. 275, Issue 5296, pp. 57-59
DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5296.57

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Photopolymerizable diacrylate monomers dissolved in fluid-layer smectic A and smectic C liquid crystal (LC) hosts exhibited significant spatial segregation and orientation that depend strongly on monomer structure. Small, flexible monomers such as 1,6-hexanediol diacrylate (HDDA) oriented parallel to the smectic layers and intercalated, whereas rod-shaped mesogen-like monomers such as 1,4-di-(4-(6-acryloyloxyhexyloxy)benzoyloxy)-2-methylbenzene (C6M) oriented normal to the smectic layers and collected within them. Such spatial segregation caused by the smectic layering dramatically enhanced photopolymerization rates; for HDDA, termination rates were reduced, whereas for C6M, both the termination and propagation rates were increased. These polymerization precursor structures suggest novel materials-design paradigms for gel LCs and nanophase-separated polymer systems.

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