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Liquid Crystals

More than twenty years ago, Chandrasekhar found that disk-like molecules composed of a rigid core and flexible side-chains pointing outward (discotics, Figure left), can form columnar thermotropic mesophases. Macrocyclic compounds attained special interest in this context because the formation of channel structures should be possible if the backbone of the rings is not collapsed. This can be accomplished in flexible rings by the formation of host-guest complexes. However, shape-persistent rings are, per se, non-collapsed (Figure right).

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We could recently show that macroycle with a rigid periphery and a flexible core exhibit also thermotropic mesomorphism. This is the first definitive discotic liquid crystal with an inverted structure.

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