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Liquid-crystalline lanthanide complexes


The Sheffield liquid crystal group has successfully been developing strategies to incorporate high coordination number metal centres into liquid crystalline materials which rely on the fact that the reduction in structural anisotropy implicit in using, for example, octahedral metal complexes, can be screened out using highly anisotropic ligands. A natural extension of work with six coordinate centres is to move to nine-coordinate centres, namely the lanthanide elements. These metalshave high remarkable magnetic, photochemical and photophysical properties which it would be desirable to incorporate into liquid crystalline media. For example, one could imagine the realisation of magnetic switching at low applied fields. A strategy is proposed to encapsulate the lanthanides inside cage molecules (cryptands) to form tube-like molecules which will have the correct anisotropy to allow for the formation of fluid, calamitic mesophases.


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