Effect of exchange of terminal substituents on the mesophase behaviour of some azo/ester compounds

Six homologous series of 4-(4′-alkoxy phenylazo) phenyl 4″-substituted benzoates (Ina-f) were prepared in which, within each homologous series, the length of the terminal alkoxy chain varies between 6, 8, 10, and 12 carbons, while the other terminal substituent, X, is a polar group that alternatively changed from CH3O, CH3, H, Br, NO2 and CN. Compounds prepared were characterised by spectroscopic methods, and their mesophase behaviour investigated by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and polarised optical microscopy (POM). The results were discussed in terms of mesomeric and polarisability effects. In each group of compounds, bearing the same alkoxy substituent, the nematic-to-isotropic transition temperatures (TC) were successfully correlated with the polarisability anisotropy of bonds to the substituent X. A comparative study was made between the investigated compounds and their previously prepared isomers, namely, 4-(4′-substituted phenylazo) phenyl 4″-alkoxybenzoates (IIna-f) in which the two terminal (alkoxy- and X) groups are exchanged.