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Measurement of visco-elastic properties in a binary system of hockey stick-shaped and calamitic mesogens

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Abstract.

Temperature variation of the splay elastic modulus (K11) and rotational viscosity (\( \gamma_{1}\)) have been measured throughout the entire nematic (N phase of a binary liquid crystal system comprising of host calamitic compound, 4-octyloxy-4-cyanobiphenyl (8OCB) and small amount of a hockey stick-shaped mesogen, 4-(3-decyloxyphenyliminomethyl) phenyl 4-decyloxycinnamate (SF7). Two different structural conformations play a significant role in the phase behavior leading to a noticeable shrinkage in the nematic width. During cooling in the nematic phase, both K11 and \( \gamma_{1}\) enhance monotonically and divulge an evidence of pretransitional fluctuation near the Smectic-A (Sm-A) transition. With increase in the dopant concentration, the slope of the temperature-dependent K11 and \( \gamma_{1}\) becomes uniformly steeper. The observed variations are explained in accordance with the formation of smectic-like clusters in the nematic phase. A representative model of the smectic-like clusters in the nematic phase is presented. However, the obtained values of \( \gamma_{1}\) have found to be between that of conventional calamitics and typical bent-core mesogens. Measurement of the temperature-dependent orientational order parameter (〈P2〉 ) and activation energy (Ea) has also been carried out for all the studied mixtures, exhibiting a small augmentation due to the addition of a hockey stick-shaped compound. This indicates an enhancement in intermolecular packing within the mixtures which further influences the molecular motions.

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Correspondence to Malay Kumar Das.

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Chakraborty, S., Das, M.K. & Weissflog, W. Measurement of visco-elastic properties in a binary system of hockey stick-shaped and calamitic mesogens. Eur. Phys. J. E 42, 138 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1140/epje/i2019-11902-0

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Keywords

  • Soft Matter: Liquid crystals