Poly(dialkylsiloxane)s and poly(dialkylsilane)s form a similar type of columnar mesophase. Although, the polysilanes are stiffer than polysiloxanes, both classes of polymers may be considered to be flexible due to the ability to form chain-folded crystals. Chain flexibility rather than the presence of chain stiffness determines whether the columnar mesophase is formed. A certain amphiphilic character does not appear to be required, as polysiloxanes with short side groups, e.g. polydiethylsiloxane display the same mesophase behaviour as polydialkylsilanes with long side chains and other nonpolar flexible chain molecules. The importance of the entropy gain upon conformational disordering is reflected in the increase in temperature stability with increasing alkyl side group length and the absence of mesophase behaviour in the case of the dimethyl substituted polymers.
- Columnar 2D-ordering