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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effects of molecular structure on the stability of a thermotropic liquid crystal. Gas electron diffraction study of the molecular structure of phenyl benzoate.

As a model of the core of molecules forming liquid crystals, the molecular structure of phenyl benzoate (Ph-C(=O)-O-Ph) at 409 K was determined by gas electron diffraction, and the relationship between the gas-phase structures of model compounds and the nematic-to-liquid transition temperatures was studied. Structural constraints were obtained from RHF/6-31G ab initio calculations. Vibrational mean amplitudes and shrinkage corrections were calculated from the harmonic force constants given by normal coordinate analysis. Thermal vibrations were treated as small-amplitude motions, except for the phenyl torsion, which was treated as a large-amplitude motion. The potential function for torsion was assumed to be V(phi(1),phi(2)) = V(12)(1 - cos 2phi(1))/2 + V(14)(1 - cos 4phi(1))/2 + V(22)(1 - cos 2phi(2))/2, where phi(1) and phi(2) denote the torsional angles around the C-Ph and O-Ph bonds, respectively. The potential constants (V(ij)()/kcal mol(-)(1)) and the principal structure parameters (r(g)/A, angle(alpha)/deg) with the estimated limits of error (3sigma) are as follows: V(12) = -1.3 (assumed); V(14) = -0.5(9); V(22) = 3.5(15); r(C=O) = 1.208(4); r(C(=O)-O) = 1.362(6); r(C(=O)-O) - r(O-C) = -0.044 (assumed); r(C(=O)-C) = 1.478(10); <r(C-C)> = 1.396(1); angleOCO = 124.2(13); angleO=CC = 127.3(12); angleCOC = 121.4(22); ( angleOCC(cis) - angleOCC(trans))/2 = 3.0(15); ( angleC(=O)CC(cis) - angleC(=O)CC(trans))/2 = 4.8(17), where < > means an average value and C-C(cis) and C-C(trans) bonds are cis and trans to the C(=O)-O bond, respectively. The torsional angle around the O-Ph bond was determined to be 64(+26,-12) degrees. An apparent correlation was found between the contributions of the cores to the clearing point of liquid crystals and the gas-phase structures of model compounds of the cores of mesogens, i.e., phenyl benzoate, trans-azobenzene (t-AB), N-benzylideneaniline, N-benzylideneaniline N-oxide (NBANO), trans-azoxybenzene (t-AXB), and trans-stilbene. The structures of t-AB, NBANO, and t-AXB have been obtained by our research group.[1]


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