The Journal of Chemical Physics Vol. 143

Simultaneous calorimetric and polarization microscopy investigations of light induced changes over phase transitions in a liquid crystal–napthopyran mixture


We have studied the specific heat and the thermal conductivity in a 4-(-octyl)-4′-cyanobiphenyl liquid crystal (LC)-photochromic molecules mixture, before, during, and after the photo-activation of the dispersed photochromic molecules, over both the smectic A-nematic and the nematic-isotropic phase transitions. The evaluation of the specific heat has enabled the determination of the changes of the phase transition characteristics induced by the photochromic molecules photoisomerization, while that of thethermal conductivity could be used to monitor the modifications induced in the average LC molecular orientation. The polarization microscopy imaging of the sample texture constituted a valuable support for the interpretation of the obtained thermal conductivity results.

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