A series of imidazole-containing rod-like Schiff's bases and their ionic copper(II) chelates with various lengths of the terminal alkyl chain containing 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16 carbon atoms have been synthesised. The synthesised compounds were characterised by elemental analyses, 1H NMR, IR and UV-vis and mass spectroscopies. Thermotropic smectic C mesophases in the ligands and smectic A mesophases in the copper(II) complexes were identified using POM, DSC and small-angle XRD scattering methods. X-ray diffraction patterns of the prepared imidazole imines indicate to supramolecular self-assembled structures in the liquid crystal state, which are formed by means of intermolecular hydrogen bonds. It was established that both liquid crystal arrangement and supramolecular assemblies in ligands disappeared near 190°C, mainly regardless of the lengths of the terminal alkyl chains. Contrary, assembling of the copper(II) complexes into supramolecular bilayers occurs near 200°C, which causes their transition to a smectic A mesophase.
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