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The synthesis and characterisation of 4-(3',4',5'-trialkoxybenzoyloxy)pyridines (1a-e), and of their corresponding palladium(II), (2a-e), and platinum(II), (3a-e), complexes are described. The pyridine-based ligands are not mesomorphic, but upon complexation to PdCl 2 or PtCl 2 , new hexacatenar mesogens are formed which show exclusively the hexagonal columnar mesophase. The mesomorphic behaviour of the complexes was characterised by polarised optical microscopy, differential scanningdoi:10.1039/b203889g fatcat:pcmgjppz3rfohnipaqpzdq3xu4