Elastic constants in liquid crystals are known to be in the range of pico- and several-tens piconewton (pN). We report herein that a bend elastic constant, K33, remarkably varies depending on a slight modification of the chemical structure in an analogous series of calamitic liquid crystals. In contrast to the record-high bend elastic constants (hundreds pN or sub-nN) reported previously in a compound with an azo linkage, analogous compounds with tolan and ester linkages show several-tens pN and pN, respectively. X-ray diffraction studies of these compounds reveal that smectic-like layer structures (cybotacticclusters) are formed in the nematic phase of only the homologous compounds with an azo linkage, certifying the idea that the existence of cybotactic clusters strongly enhances K33. Two theoretical considerations were made: (1) Based on molecular conformation calculation, flat molecules that have high torsional potential energy, such as the one with an azo linkage, easily pack to form cybotactic clusters. (2) Theoretical estimation was made of how much cluster volume ratio is necessary to give about 100-times-larger K33s.
|Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
|Published - 2014 Oct 31
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability
- Condensed Matter Physics