The induction of a cholesteric phase by doping an achiral nematic liquid crystal with an enantiopure solute is a phenomenon that, as in all general supramolecular phenomena of chiral amplification, depends in a subtle way on intermolecular interactions. The micrometric helical deformation of the phase director in the cholesteric phase is generated by the interplay of anisotropy and chirality of probe-medium interactions. In the case of a flexible chiral dopant, the solvent can influence the twisting power in two ways, difficult to disentangle: it is responsible for the solute orientational order, an essential ingredient for the emergence of phase chirality; but also it can affect the dopant conformational distribution and then the chirality of the structures present in the solution. In this work we have investigated methyl phenyl sulfoxide, a flexible, chiral molecule that, when dissolved in different nematics, can produce cholesteric phases of opposite handedness. This peculiar, intriguing sensitivity to the environment makes MPS a suitable probe for a thorough investigation of the effects of solute-solvent interactions on chiral induction in liquid crystals. NMR experiments in various nematic solvents have been performed in addition to twisting power measurements. From the analysis of partially averaged H-1-H-1 and C-13-H-1 dipolar couplings, the effects of solvent on solute conformation and orientational order are disentangled, and this information is combined with the modeling of the chirality of intermolecular interactions, within a molecular field theory. The integration of different techniques allows an unprecedented insight into the role of solvent in mediating the chirality transfer from molecule to phase.

Solute-Solvent Interactions and Chiral Induction in Liquid Crystals

CELEBRE, Giorgio
;
DE LUCA, Giuseppina;IEMMA, Francesca;
2005

Abstract

The induction of a cholesteric phase by doping an achiral nematic liquid crystal with an enantiopure solute is a phenomenon that, as in all general supramolecular phenomena of chiral amplification, depends in a subtle way on intermolecular interactions. The micrometric helical deformation of the phase director in the cholesteric phase is generated by the interplay of anisotropy and chirality of probe-medium interactions. In the case of a flexible chiral dopant, the solvent can influence the twisting power in two ways, difficult to disentangle: it is responsible for the solute orientational order, an essential ingredient for the emergence of phase chirality; but also it can affect the dopant conformational distribution and then the chirality of the structures present in the solution. In this work we have investigated methyl phenyl sulfoxide, a flexible, chiral molecule that, when dissolved in different nematics, can produce cholesteric phases of opposite handedness. This peculiar, intriguing sensitivity to the environment makes MPS a suitable probe for a thorough investigation of the effects of solute-solvent interactions on chiral induction in liquid crystals. NMR experiments in various nematic solvents have been performed in addition to twisting power measurements. From the analysis of partially averaged H-1-H-1 and C-13-H-1 dipolar couplings, the effects of solvent on solute conformation and orientational order are disentangled, and this information is combined with the modeling of the chirality of intermolecular interactions, within a molecular field theory. The integration of different techniques allows an unprecedented insight into the role of solvent in mediating the chirality transfer from molecule to phase.
HELICAL TWISTING POWER, CHOLESTERIC MESOPHASES, ABSOLUTE-CONFIGURATION, NEMATICS, SURFACE, PHASES
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/154946
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