Date: 15 Mar 2005

Liquid crystal side chain polymers

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Attaching non amphiphilic or amphiphilic liquid crystalline molecules as side chains to linear, branched or crosslinked polymers yields liquid crystal (l.c.) side chain polymers, which can exhibit the liquid crystalline state analogously to the conventional low molar mass liquid crystals. The l.c.-side chain polymers combine the specific, anisotropic properties of the liquid crystalline state with the specific properties of polymers.

The systematic synthesis of non amphiphilic l.c.-side chain polymers and detailed physico-chemical investigations are discussed. The phase behavior and structure of nematic, cholesteric and smectic polymers are described. Their optical properties and the state of order of cholesteric and nematic polymers are analysed in comparison to conventional low molar mass liquid crystals. The phase transition into the glassy state and optical characterization of the anisotropic glasses having liquid crystalline structures are examined.

The synthesis of amphilic l.c.-side chain polymers and their phase behavior in aqueous solutions verifies that these polymers exhibit hexagonal, cubic and lamellar phases in analogy to the monomeric systems.