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Phys Rev Lett. 2004 Apr 9;92(14):145505. Epub 2004 Apr 9.

Thermotropic biaxial nematic liquid crystals.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-3290, USA.


We have synthesized liquid crystal (LC) mesogens based on a nonlinear oxadiazole unit that exhibit nematic phases near 200 degrees C. Polarized microscopy and conoscopy indicate that these LCs are biaxial nematics. Unambiguous and quantitative evidence for biaxiality is achieved using 2H NMR spectroscopy. "2D powder" spectra, obtained by rotating 2H-labeled samples about an axis perpendicular to the magnetic field at approximately 200 Hz, yield phase biaxiality parameters of approximately 0.1 when coupled with rigorous and proven simulations.

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