The dynamics and phase behavior of the discotic liquid crystalline compound hexahexyloxytriphenylene (HAT6) and a derivative were studied by broad-band dielectric spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, X-ray diffraction and optical microscopy. While the pristine compound HAT6 forms both a columnar mesophase (Colh) and a plastic crystal phase, no liquid crystallinity was observed for the highly asymmetric compound HAT6-C10Br. This paper focuses on the dielectric relaxations in the plastic crystal phase. For HAT6-C10Br, a `high temperature¿ glass transition, manifested by a Vogel¿Fulcher¿Tammann (VFT) type ¿2-process, was found at ¿31 °C that was assigned to the columnar glass transition in accordance with previous literature. The main result of our study is the observation of a second, low-temperature VFT process (¿1) for both compounds, which indicates co-operative liquid dynamics within the framework of the plastic crystal order at temperatures as low as ¿100 °C. Comparison of these fast dynamics with relaxation data from polyethylene and polymer series with long alkyl groups identifies this process as a `hindered¿ polyethylene-like dynamic glass transition that originates from the nanophase-separated, spatially confined fraction of aliphatic tails.
- dielectric-relaxation spectroscopy