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Heliconical nematic and smectic phases: the synthesis and characterisation of the CB4O.m and CB8O.m series.

Alshammari, Ahlam F.; Zattarin, Amerigo; Pearson, Abigail; Cruickshank, Ewan; Majewska, Magdalena; Pociecha, Damian; Storey, John M.D.; Gorecka, Ewa; Imrie, Corrie T.; Walker, Rebecca


Ahlam F. Alshammari

Amerigo Zattarin

Abigail Pearson

Magdalena Majewska

Damian Pociecha

John M.D. Storey

Ewa Gorecka

Corrie T. Imrie

Rebecca Walker


The synthesis and characterisation of two series of nonsymmetric dimers belonging to the family of compounds, the 1-(4-cyanobiphenyl-4′-yl)-ω-(4-alkylanilinebenzylidene-4′-oxy)alkanes (CBnO.m) is reported; in the acronym, n refers to the number of carbon atoms in the spacer, and m in the terminal alkyl chain. The two series reported, CB4O.m and CB8O.m, both show twist-bend nematic (NTB) and smectic phases (SmCTB-SH and SmCTB-DH). Their phase behaviour is compared to that of the CB6O.m and CB10O.m series. For each series, locally intercalated molecular packing is observed for short terminal chains and interdigitated packing for long terminal chains. The intercalated anticlinic smectic CA phase is observed for the CB8O.m and CB10O.m series. All four series exhibit the SmCTB-SH and SmCTB-DH phases for the longer terminal chains and all have an interdigitated molecular arrangement. The absence of an intercalated heliconical phase is attributed to the high viscosity associated with the network intercalated structure.


ALSHAMMARI, A.F., ZATTARIN, A., PEARSON, A., CRUICKSHANK, E., MAJEWSKA, M., POCIECHA, D., STOREY, J.M.D., GORECKA, E., IMRIE, C.T. and WALKER, R. 2024. Heliconical nematic and smectic phases: the synthesis and characterisation of the CB4O.m and CB8O.m series. Liquid crystals [online], Latest Articles. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 5, 2024
Online Publication Date Apr 18, 2024
Deposit Date Apr 19, 2024
Publicly Available Date May 3, 2024
Journal Liquid crystals
Print ISSN 0267-8292
Electronic ISSN 1366-5855
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Heliconical smectic phases; twist-bend smectics; twist-bend nematic phase; cyanobiphenyls; liquid crystal dimers
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Additional Information This article has been published with separate supporting information. This supporting information has been incorporated into a single file on this repository and can be found at the end of the file associated with this output.


ALSHAMMARI 2024 Heliconical nematic and smectic phases (VOR) (10.7 Mb)

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Copyright Statement
© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License ( nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

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