Understanding the structures and stability conditions of emerging liquid crystal (LC) phases brings us a step closer to the crucial understanding of delicate self-assembling nanoscale systems and the consequential impact on their macroscopic properties. We report experimental evidence and a theoretical model for a ferrielectric LC phase which has a three-layer repeat structure and is field-induced but exhibits a symmetry and electro-optical properties that are distinct from those of the known ferrielectric (SmC�∗FI1) phase. This discovery has implications for the ways in which LC phases are identified, and offers the potential for better control of ferroelectric LC devices.
- dielectric liquids
- electro-optical effects
- liquid crystals
- liquid crystal phase transformations