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  • 1 Department of Macromolecular Science Case Western Reserve University 44106-2699 Cleveland Ohio USA
  • | 2 Maurice Morton Institute and Department of Polymer Science The University of Akron 44325-3909 Akron Ohio
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A series of polyethers have been synthesized from 1-(4-hydroxy-4′-biphenyl)-2-(4-hydroxyphenyl)propane and α, Ω-dibromoalkanes having different numbers of methylene units [TPPs]. Both odd- and even-numbered TPPs [TPP(n=odd)s and TPP(n=even)s) exhibit multiple transitions during cooling and heating and they show little supercooling dependence, indicating close-to-equilibrium nature of these transitions. Combining the structural characterization obtainedvia wide angle X-ray diffraction powder and fiber patterns at different temperatures and the morphological observations from microscopy techniques, not only the nematic liquid crystalline phase but also highly ordered smecticF, smectic crystalG andH phases have been identified. The phase diagrams for both TPP(n=odd)s and TPP(n=even)s have been constructed [1–3]. Thermodynamic properties (enthalpy and entropy changes) during these transitions are studied based on differential scanning calorimetry experiments. The contributions of the mesogenic groups and methylene units to each ordering process can be separated and they indicate the characteristics of these processes thereby providing estimations of the transition types.