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Missing link between helical nano‐ and microfilaments in B4 phase bent‐core liquid crystals, and deciphering which chiral center controls the filament handedness.

Shadpour, Sasan and Nemati, Ahlam and Salamończyk, Mirosław and Prévôt, Marianne E. and Liu, Jiao and Boyd, Nicola J. and Wilson, Mark R. and Zhu, Chenhui and Hegmann, Elda and Jákli, Antal I. and Hegmann, Torsten (2020) 'Missing link between helical nano‐ and microfilaments in B4 phase bent‐core liquid crystals, and deciphering which chiral center controls the filament handedness.', Small., 16 (4). p. 1905591.


The range of possible morphologies for bent‐core B4 phase liquid crystals has recently expanded from helical nanofilaments (HNFs) and modulated HNFs to dual modulated HNFs, helical microfilaments, and heliconical‐layered nanocylinders. These new morphologies are observed when one or both aliphatic side chains contain a chiral center. Here, the following questions are addressed: which of these two chiral centers controls the handedness (helicity) and which morphology of the nanofilaments is formed by bent‐core liquid crystals with tris‐biphenyl diester core flanked by two chiral 2‐octyloxy side chains? The combined results reveal that the longer arm of these nonsymmetric bent‐core liquid crystals controls the handedness of the resulting dual modulated HNFs. These derivatives with opposite configuration of the two chiral side chains now feature twice as large dimensions compared to the homochiral derivatives with identical configuration. These results are supported by density functional theory calculations and stochastic dynamic atomistic simulations, which reveal that the relative difference between the para‐ and meta‐sides of the described series of compounds drives the variation in morphology. Finally, X‐ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and atomic force microscopy (AFM) data also uncover the new morphology for B4 phases featuring p2/m symmetry within the filaments and less pronounced crystalline character.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This is the accepted version of the following article: Shadpour, Sasan Nemati, Ahlam Salamończyk, Mirosław Prévôt, Marianne E. Liu, Jiao Boyd, Nicola J. , Wilson, Mark R. , Zhu, Chenhui Hegmann, Elda Jákli, Antal I. & Hegmann, Torsten (2020). Missing Link between Helical Nano‐ and Microfilaments in B4 Phase Bent‐Core Liquid Crystals, and Deciphering which Chiral Center Controls the Filament Handedness. Small 16(4): 1905591 which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Date accepted:09 December 2019
Date deposited:13 January 2020
Date of first online publication:29 December 2019
Date first made open access:29 December 2020

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