Interdigitated Liquid Crystals

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Science  22 Feb 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5559, pp. 1429
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5559.1429b

Many liquid crystals are based on rodlike molecules, but disclike molecules can also form mesophases with columnar structures. The component molecules can even be half-discs, but in these cases the molecules are still stacked one on top of the other like coins in a jar, and the stacking is stabilized by either strong metallic or hydrogen-bond interactions. Kishikawa et al. synthesized a series of half-disc molecules that contained a strong central dipole linkage. Although the molecules stacked into columns, they did so in an antiparallel fashion with minimal overlap between them, thus creating an interdigitated structure. Increasing the length of the side groups (R) strengthened the intermolecular interactions of the core, which is consistent with observations from other discotic systems. When a chiral alkane was used for the side group, the interdigitated columns adopted a helical structure with a slow periodic rotation of the half-discs about the columnar axis. — MSL

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 10.1021/ja012156k (2002).

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