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J Am Chem Soc. 2004 Mar 31;126(12):3856-67.

Liquid-crystalline octopus dendrimers: block molecules with unusual mesophase morphologies.

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  • 1Institut de Physique et Chimie des Matériaux de Strasbourg - IPCMS, Groupe des Matériaux Organiques - GMO, UMR 7504 - CNRS/Université Louis Pasteur, 23, rue du Loess, BP 43, F-67034 Strasbourg Cedex 2, France.


The synthesis and the mesomorphic properties of several new main-chain liquid-crystalline dendrimers, thereafter designated as octopus dendrimers in accordance with their eight sidearms, are reported. In these dendritic systems, the arborescence is ensured by anisotropic segments, acting as branching cells with a double multiplicity, which are incorporated at every node of the dendritic architecture. In such a way, these compounds radically differ from the classical end-functionalized liquid-crystalline dendrimers, the most commonly reported systems. Following our previous report on purely homolithic systems, that is, the building blocks constituting the dendritic matrix are all identical, several heterolithic systems made of different anisotropic blocks have been prepared. The dendritic branches and corresponding dendrimers were synthesized using a modular construction. Polarized optical microscopy and X-ray diffraction studies showed that all of these new octopus dendrimers exhibit either smectic-like or columnar phases with novel morphologies, the nature of the mesophases depending on the number of terminal chains attached to the peripheral groups. The mesomorphism of these heterolithic dendrimers is discussed in terms of their intrinsic architecture and compared to the analogous homolithic octopus systems. Models for the molecular organizations within both the smectic and the columnar phases are proposed on the basis of small Bragg angle X-ray diffraction studies and are supported by molecular modelizations. Moreover, this study showed that the mesophase stability is very sensitive to the nature and to the mutual arrangement (the spatial location) of the mesogenic segments within the dendritic matrix, illustrating the intimate relationships existing between the mesomorphic properties and the molecular architecture of these dendrimers.

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