Synthesis and Analysis of Potential Low Molecular Mass Gelators with Liquid Crystalline Properties

Craig Van Bruggen


Low molecular mass gelators (LMGs) are small organic compounds that spontaneously form thermoreversible fiber networks within a solvent, entrapping the solvent to create a gel. The intermolecular interactions seen in LMGs are similar to the interactions made by compounds that can occupy a liquid crystalline state. Due to their similarities, a novel hydrazide-based polycatener compound was designed with the hope that it will possess gelation and/or liquid crystalline properties. This compound, plus five similar derivatives, were synthesized by coupling isoniazid or 2-picolinyl hydrazide with commercially available alkoxybenzoic acids or synthesized 3,4,5-(dodecyloxy)benzoic acid by use of the coupling agent HATU. Some preliminary polarized microscopy and differential scanning calorimetry analysis proved at least one synthesized derivative can occupy a liquid crystal state. Once gelation studies are conducted on our synthesized derivatives, the small structural differences between derivatives will further illustrate how these differences affects the compounds’ macroscopic properties.