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Highly ordered monodomain ionic self-assembled liquid-crystalline materials

: Zakrevskyy, Y.; Smarsly, B.; Stumpe, J.; Faul, C.F.J.


Physical Review. E 71 (2005), No.2, Art. 021701, 12 pp.
ISSN: 1063-651X
ISSN: 1539-3755
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IAP ()

Liquid-crystalline properties of the ionic self assembled complex benzenehexacarboxylic-(didodecyltrimethylammonium)(6)[BHC-(C12D)(6)] were investigated by polarizing microscopy, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), x-ray analysis, null ellipsometry, UV and IR spectroscopy. The complex exhibits a bilayer smectic Sm-A(2) liquid-crystalline phase and aligns spontaneously. Alignment properties do not depend on the hydrophobic or hydrophilic treatment of the surfaces. The aligned complex possesses a negative (Delta n=-0.02) homeotropically oriented optical axis, with layers aligned parallel to the surface. X-ray analysis of the aligned sample revealed a lamellar structure with a d spacing of 3.15 nm, consisting of sublayers of thicknesses d(1)=1.41 and d(2)=1.74 nm. This was confirmed by simple geometrical calculations and detailed temperature-dependent investigations, revealing that the first layer contains the BHC molecules and oppositely charged groups of the surfactants, and the second the alkyl tails of the surfactant. Changes in the order parameters (as calculated from the IR investigations) are correlated with the phase transitions as found by DSC. The properties of the complex are strongly influenced by the ionic interactions within the complex. The presence of these groups slows down the dynamics within the material sufficiently to allow for crystallization of the complex from an aligned LC phase into a single crystal domain, as well as restricting the transition to the isotropic phase.