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J Phys Chem B. 2012 Aug 16;116(32):9846-59. doi: 10.1021/jp305907u. Epub 2012 Aug 7.

X-ray diffraction, calorimetric, and dielectric relaxation study of the amorphous and smectic states of a main chain liquid crystalline polymer.

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Departamento de Química Física I, Facultad de Química, Universidad Complutense, 28040-Madrid, Spain.


Liquid crystalline polymers (LCPs) are complex systems that include features of both orientationally ordered mesophases and amorphous polymers. Frequently, the isotropic amorphous state cannot be studied due to the rapid mesophase formation. Here, a new main chain LCP, poly(triethyleneglycol methyl p,p'-bibenzoate), PTEMeB, has been synthesized. It shows a rather slow mesophase formation making possible to study independently both the amorphous and the liquid crystalline states. The structure and phase transitions of PTEMeB have been investigated by calorimetry, variable-temperature MAXS/WAXS employing synchrotron radiation, and X-ray diffraction in oriented fibers. These experiments have pointed out the presence of two glass transitions, related to the amorphous or to the liquid crystal phases. Additionally, the mesophase seems to be a coexistence of orthogonal and tilted smectic phases. A dielectric relaxation study of PTEMeB over broad ranges of temperature and pressure has been performed. The dynamic glass transition turns out to be slower for the amorphous state than for the liquid crystal. Monitoring of the α relaxation has allowed us to follow the isothermal mesophase formation at atmospheric pressure. Additionally, the dynamical behavior at high pressures has pointed out the fast formation of the mesophase induced by sudden pressure changes.

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