Photoactive Liquid Crystalline Hybrid

Demis Paolucci 2Francesco Paolucci 2Massimo Marcaccio 2Philip Moriarty 1Peter H. Beton 1Robert Deschenaux 3Maurizio Prato 4

1. University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom
2. University of Bologna, Dipartimento di Chimica "G. Ciamician" (UNIBO), via Selmi 2, Bologna 40126, Italy
3. Université de Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel, Switzerland
4. Università di Trieste, Trieste, Italy


The search for liquid crystals (LCs) displaying novel and specific properties is a crucial point for the development of new technologies. Electroactive or photoactive LCs are of high interest because of the possibility to tune the mesomorphic and physical properties. Combination of an electron acceptor subunit (fullerene) and an electron donor subunit (ferrocene) within the same molecular framework could allow to design new switchable materials.
The electrochemical behaviour of this compound was investigated under strictly aprotic conditions by cyclic voltammetry and displays either fullerene- or ferrocene-centered reduction or oxidation process, respectively. The stability of the different mixed ferrocene-fullerene LC under reduction conditions was studied in view of the application of such species as photoactive molecular devices. In fact, photophysical studies revealed that intramolecular electron trasfer between the ferrocene and fullerene units represents the major deactivation pathway of the corresponding electronically excited LCs.
In principle, the photoinduced electron transfer could be used to control the liquid-crystalline properties due to the presence of either the ferrocene (light off) or ferrocenium (light on) species.
Furthermore, SPM studies, currently in progress, show that the dynamics of the molecular layer, tuneable by the temperature, is controlled by intermolecular forces.

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Presentation: Short communication at SMCBS 2003 Workshop, by Demis Paolucci
See On-line Journal of SMCBS 2003 Workshop

Submitted: 2003-09-12 15:05
Revised:   2009-06-08 12:55
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