Helical twisting power of chiral side-chain liquid crystal copolymers

J. M G Cowie, T. Hinchcliffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


A series of copolymers, comprising a chiral mesogen ((S)-(-)-4-methoxyphenyl-4'-(2-acryloyloxy)propoxy benzoate) and a non-chiral mesogenic comonomer (4-cyanophenyl-4'-(6-acryloyloxy) benzoate), was prepared, and each sample characterized physically and optically. The copolymers were found to exhibit a chiral nematic phase when the mole fraction of the chiral monomer in the copolymer was greater than 0.2. Films of these samples selectively reflect light of wavelength ?R which is inversely proportional to the mole fraction of chiral monomer in the copolymer. The values of ?R were determined at a fixed reduced temperature T* by differential absorption spectrometry and by specular reflectivity measurements. Plots of (1/?R) against mole fraction of the chiral mesogen in the copolymer gave values of the helical twisting power of 5 × 10-3 mm-1, which is lower than observed for cholesterol-containing polymers but comparable to or greater than values reported for side-chain liquid crystal polymers with alternative chiral centres. Copyright © 1996 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4937-4944
Number of pages8
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1996


  • Chiral nematic
  • Copolymers
  • Liquid crystal
  • Selective reflection


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