5 years ago

8OCB and 8CB Liquid Crystals Confined in Nanoporous Alumina: Effect of Confinement on the Structure and Dynamics

8OCB and 8CB Liquid Crystals Confined in Nanoporous Alumina: Effect of Confinement on the Structure and Dynamics
Aristoula Selevou, George Floudas, Martin Steinhart, George Papamokos
The effect of oxygen substitution is studied in two homologous compounds of n-cyanobiphenyls with n = 8 in the bulk and under confinement within self-ordered nanoporous alumina (AAO). Oxygen substitution in 8OCB increases the dipole moment and stabilizes the crystalline, smectic, and nematic phases to higher temperatures relative to 8CB. Within their smectic– A (SmA) phase both 8CB and 8OCB behave as weak viscoelastic solids with low shear moduli reflecting the underlying supramolecular defect structure. Dielectric spectroscopy assisted by DFT calculations identified strong dipolar associations within the isotropic phases characterized by a Kirkwood–Fröhlich interaction parameter, g ∼ 0.36. Dielectric spectroscopy further identified a slow process (∼ kHz) of low dielectric strength. The proximity of this process to the rheology time scale suggests as common origin a cooperative relaxation of the defect structure. Confinement alters the phase diagram by stabilizing certain crystalline phases and by reducing the NI transition temperature in agreement with surface tension effects. However, the NI transition seems to retain its first order character. Surface treatment with n-decyltrichlorosilane results in destabilization of the SmA phase at the expense of the N phase. This is consistent with a picture of surface anchored LC molecules at the pore walls that stabilize the nematic phase.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpcb.7b05042

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.7b05042

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