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Broadband-dielectric-spectroscopy study of molecular dynamics in a mixture of itraconazole and glycerol in glassy, smectic-A, and isotropic phases
Physical Review E  (IF2.529),  Pub Date : 2021-09-09, DOI: 10.1103/physreve.104.034702
M. Rams-Baron, D. Kramarczyk, J. Knapik-Kowalczuk, B. Hachula, A. Kocot, M. Paluch

Itraconazole (ITZ) is a thermotropic liquid crystal that exhibits isotropic, nematic, and smectic phases on cooling towards the glass transition upon melting. Over the years, new aspects regarding the liquid-crystalline ordering of this antifungal drug were systematically revealed. It has been shown recently that the temperature range of individual mesophases in ITZ can be modified by adding a small amount of glycerol (GLY). Moreover, above the critical concentration of 5% w/w, a smectic to nematic transition can be avoided. Here we go one step further, and we used broadband dielectric spectroscopy to investigate the new phase behavior of the ITZ-GLY mixture (5% w/w). To confirm the phase transformations of the ITZ-GLY mixture, differential scanning calorimetry was also employed. The analysis of molecular dynamics of the ITZ-GLY mixture in the glassy and isotropic phases revealed features similar to those observed for neat ITZ. Two relaxation processes were identified in the smectic-A phase, with similar temperature dependence, most likely related to the fast rotations around the long axis of a molecule. Additionally, the derivative analysis revealed another low-frequency process hidden under DC conductivity ascribed to the slow rotations about a short axis. We will show that the differences in the molecular organization in the smectic-A and isotropic phases leave a clear fingerprint on the temperature behavior of relaxation times and other dielectric parameters, such as DC conductivity and dielectric strength, for which a pretransition effect has been detected.