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ACS nano

Suppression of phase transitions in a confined rodlike liquid crystal.


PMID 21974835

Abstract

The nematic-to-isotropic, crystal-to-nematic, and supercooled liquid-to-glass temperatures are studied in the liquid crystal 4-pentyl-4'-cyanobiphenyl (5CB) confined in self-ordered nanoporous alumina. The nematic-to-isotropic and the crystal-to-nematic transition temperatures are reduced linearly with the inverse pore diameter. The finding that the crystalline phase is completely suppressed in pores having diameters of 35 nm and below yields an estimate of the critical nucleus size. The liquid-to-glass temperature is reduced in confinement as anticipated by the model of rotational diffusion within a cavity. These results provide the pertinent phase diagram for a confined liquid crystal and are of technological relevance for the design of liquid crystal-based devices with tunable optical, thermal, and dielectric properties.

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328510
4′-Pentyl-4-biphenylcarbonitrile, liquid crystal (nematic), 98%
C18H19N