In order to investigate the effect of spacer length and linkages between the rigid mesogenic core and the terminal group on the molecular interaction and physical properties of polymers, a series of novel side chain liquid crystalline polymers were synthesized. These were composed of liquid crystalline monomers with six or eleven methylene segments as spacers, and chiral monomers end capped with menthyl or cholesteryl groups. Liquid crystalline phases of the polymers were investigated using differential scanning calorimetry and polarized optical microscopy, and confirmed with X-ray diffractometry. Color image recording of the synthesized polymer films was achieved using a thermal treatment, and then fixed by quenching. This investigation demonstrates that the introduction of carbonate linking groups between the rigid mesogenic core and terminal group decreases both the lateral molecular interaction and thermal stability of the liquid crystalline polymers. The RGB reflection colors of the cholesteric composite film could be tuned by varying the film temperature and applying an external field. The results of this investigation present significant scientific and practical contributions with respect to the development of unique cholesteric polymer materials.
© 2008 IEEEPDF Article