Ferroelectric liquid crystals induced by atropisomeric biphenyl dopants: the effect of chiral perturbations on achiral dopants

C. Scott Hartley and Robert P. Lemieux*
Liq. Cryst. 2004, 31, 1101–1108
[Published version]


The addition of the achiral biphenyl dopant 2,2′,6,6′-tetramethyl-4,4′-bis(4-n-nonyloxybenzoyloxy)biphenyl (3) or its dithionoester or dithioester analogue (45) to a 4 mol % mixture of the atropisomeric biphenyl dopant (R)-2,2′,6,6′-tetramethyl-3,3′-dinitro-4,4′-bis(4-n-nonyloxybenzoyloxy)biphenyl, (R)-1, in the phenylpyrimidine SmC host PhP1 produces a significant amplification of the spontaneous polarization induced by (R)-1. This amplification may be due to a chiral perturbation by (R)-1 which causes a shift in the equilibrium between enantiomeric conformations of the achiral dopant. The degree of polarization amplification afforded by the achiral dopant, as expressed by the polarization amplification factor PAF, varies with the nature of the linking group. This may be ascribed to different rotational distributions of the core transverse dipole moments relative to the polar axis of the SmC* phase and/or to differences in lateral bulk of the polar linking groups. The latter may affect the degree of chiral molecular recognition achieved by 35 in the binding site of the SmC* phase.