Molecularly designed polymers with narrow polydispersities and well-defined molecular weights, tailor-made mesophases, and reactive systems that can be used for further functionalization or cross-linking reactions are required for applications in areas as diverse as optical data storage, nonlinear optical systems and electro-optic displays. Recent progress is discussed in the molecular engineering of side-chain liquid-crystalline polymers by living coationic polymerization, statistical and sequential copolymerization, and chain and functionalization reactions.
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