Shear aligning properties of a main-chain thermotropic liquid crystalline polymer

Wei Jun Zhou, Julia A. Kornfield*, Wesley Roth Burghardt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report the first direct, quantitative measurements of the shear aligning properties of a main-chain thermotropic liquid crystalline polymer (LCP). We find that a model thermotrope with alternating mesogen and spacer structure is of the shear aligning type throughout its nematic range. The director rotates uniformly in the shear flow toward the Leslie alignment angle as probed by in situ flow conoscopy. The Leslie alignment angle becomes progressively closer to the flow direction as temperature decreases, corresponding to a decrease of the tumbling parameter λ with increasing order parameter S. Our measurements of λ(S) enable direct comparison with predictions from molecular models, which predict that shear alignment prevails in the limit of flexible nematic chains. This is in direct contrast to rodlike lyotropic LCPs for which director tumbling is the rule.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3654-3660
Number of pages7
JournalMacromolecules
Volume34
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - May 22 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

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