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Columnar liquid crystalline assembly of a U‐shaped molecular scaffold stabilized by covalent or noncovalent incorporation of aromatic molecules

Shibuya, Yoshiki, Itoh, Yoshimitsu, Aida, Takuzo
Journal of polymer science 2019 v.57 no.3 pp. 342-351
chemical bonding, geometry, liquids, moieties, polymers, separation
We report on our serendipitous finding of the anomalous behavior of a novel liquid crystalline (LC) molecule UH/H, containing a U‐shaped handle. While UH/H itself shows a bicontinuous cubic (Cubbᵢ) phase, UH/H in the presence of pyrene molecules as an external guest forms a hexagonal columnar (Colₕ) phase without phase separation. Interestingly, even when the pyrene molecules were covalently attached to UH/H (UPy/Py), the molecule exhibited a Colₕ phase, with a similar columnar geometry to that of UH/H mixed with pyrene molecules (1–4 equiv.). This result means that no matter how the pyrene moieties are incorporated in the LC system, the resultant material exhibited a similar molecular assembly with a columnar geometry. This finding is interesting because UH/H and pyrene molecules do not seem to have specific interactions or shape complementarity to form a columnar assembly, as in the case of UPy/Py. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Polym. Sci., Part A: Polym. Chem. 2019, 57, 342–351