New Self-Organizing Optical Materials and Induced Polymorphic Phases of Their Mixtures Targeted for Energy Investigations

Polymers (Basel). 2022 Jan 23;14(3):456. doi: 10.3390/polym14030456.


Herein, a new homologues series of fluorinated liquid crystal compounds, In, 4-(((4-fluorophenyl)imino)methyl)-2-methoxyphenyl 4-alkoxybenzoate were synthesized and its mesomorphic properties were investigated both experimentally and theoretically. The synthesized compounds were characterized by elemental analyzer, NMR, and FT-IR spectroscopy to deduce the molecular structures. The differential scanning calorimetry was employed to examine mesophase transitions whereas the polarized optical microscopy was used to identify the mesophases. The obtained results revealed that the purely nematic phase observed in all terminal side chains. All homologues showed to possess monotropic nematic mesophases except the derivative I8 exhibits enantiotropic property. The optimized geometrical structures of the present designed groups have been derived theoretically. The experimental data was explained using density functional theory computations. The estimated values of dipole moment, polarizability, thermal energy, and molecule electrostatic potential demonstrated that the mesophase stability and type could be illustrated. Binary phase diagram was constructed and addressed in terms of the mesomorphic temperature range and obtained polymorphic phases. It was found that incorporation of the terminal F-atom and lateral CH3O group influence both conformation and steric effect in pure and mixed states. The absorption and fluorescence emission spectra of fabricated films were recorded to elucidate the impact of terminal side chain on photophysical properties of synthesized liquid crystal. It was noted that the increase of terminal side chain length lead to reduction of optical band gap, whereas charge carrier lifetime increases.

Keywords: energy gap; fluorinated liquid crystals; geometrical structure; optical properties; polymorphic phases; thin film.