A Twist-Bend Nematic Phase Driven by Hydrogen Bonding

Suzanne M. Jansze, Alfonso Martinez-Felipe, John M. D. Storey, Antonius T. M. Marcelis, Corrie T. Imrie*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Citations (Scopus)


The liquid crystalline phase behavior of 4-[6-(4-cyanobiphenyl-4-yl)hexyloxy]benzoic acid (CB6OBA) and 4-[5-(4-cyanobiphenyl-4-yloxy)pentyloxy]benzoic acid (CBO5OBA) is described. Both acids show an enantiotropic nematic phase attributed to the formation of supramolecular complexes by hydrogen bonding between the benzoic acid units. In addition, CB6OBA provides the first example of hydrogen bonding driving the formation of the twist-bend nematic phase. The observation of the twist-bend nematic phase for CB6OBA, but not CBO5OBA, is attributed to the more bent molecular shape of the complexes formed by the former, reinforcing the view that shape is a key factor in stabilizing this new phase. Temperature-dependent FTIR spectroscopy reveals differences in hydrogen bonding between the two nematic phases shown by CB6OBA which suggest that the open hydrogen-bonded complexes may play an important role in stabilizing the helical arrangement found in the twist-bend nematic phase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-646
Number of pages4
JournalAngewandte Chemie International Edition
Issue number2
Early online date17 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2015

Bibliographical note

Funded by
Organic Chemistry Division of the Royal Dutch Chemical Society (KNCV)


  • hydrogen bonding
  • liquid crystal trimers
  • liquid crystals
  • supramolecular chemistry
  • liquid-crystal dimers
  • oligomers
  • ether


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