Polymer Engineering Faculty Research

Title

Phase Equilibira and Photopolymerization Induce Phase Transitions of Mesogenic Diacrylate Monomer and Low Molecular Mass Liquid Crystal Mixtures

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-23-2012

Abstract

Experimental phase diagrams of binary mesogenic mixtures of reactive mesogenic diacrylate (RM257) monomer and low molar mass liquid crystals (E7) were determined by means of differential scanning calorimetry and optical microscopy. The combined free energy densities of Flory–Huggins for liquid–liquid demixing, Maier–Saupe for nematic ordering, and phase field free energy for crystal solidification was proposed to describe the phase diagrams of the starting E7/RM257 mixtures. The phase diagram thus constructed is an ideal mixing type, exhibiting a narrow loop of isotropic + nematic (I + N) coexistence region followed by the crystal + nematic (Cr1 + N) region in descending order of temperature. Of particular interest is the permanent fixation of the mesophase structures upon photopolymerisation of neat RM257 in the corresponding nematic and crystalline phases. Upon photopolymerisation of a low RM257 content mixture in both isotropic and nematic states, the nematic–isotropic transition of E7 was found to persist. The permanent structural anchoring is seen upon photo-curing of the 90/10 RM257/E7 mixture in the crystalline state.

Publication Title

Liquid Crystals

Volume

39

Issue

6

First Page

745

Last Page

754