Smectic layer instabilities in liquid crystals

Ingo Dierking, Michel Mitov, Mikhail A. Osipov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Scientists aspire to understand the underlying physics behind the formation of instabilities in soft matter and how to manipulate them for diverse investigations, while engineers aim to design materials that inhibit or impede the nucleation and growth of these instabilities in critical applications. The present paper reviews the field-induced rotational instabilities which may occur in chiral smectic liquid-crystalline layers when subjected to an asymmetric electric field. Such instabilities destroy the so-named bookshelf geometry (in which the smectic layers are normal to the cell surfaces) and have a detrimental effect on all applications of ferroelectric liquid crystals as optical materials. The transformation of the bookshelf geometry into horizontal chevron structures (in which each layer is in a V-shaped structure), and the reorientation dynamics of these chevrons, are discussed in details with respect to the electric field conditions, the material properties and the boundary conditions. Particular attention is given to the polymer-stabilisation of smectic phases as a way to forbid the occurrence of instabilities and the decline of related electro-optical performances. It is also shown which benefit may be gained from layer instabilities to enhance the alignment of the liquid-crystalline geometry in practical devices, such as optical recording by ferroelectric liquid crystals. Finally, the theoretical background of layer instabilities is given and discussed in relation to the experimental data.
LanguageEnglish
Pages819-837
Number of pages18
JournalSoft Matter
Volume11
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2015

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Liquid Crystals
Liquid Crystal
liquid crystals
Ferroelectric materials
Geometry
Electric Field
geometry
Electric fields
Liquid
Crystalline materials
Optical recording
Material Design
Optical Materials
Optical materials
electric fields
Liquids
optical materials
liquids
Nucleation
Material Properties

Keywords

  • soft matter
  • chiral smectic liquid crystalline layers
  • liquid crystalline geometry
  • liquid crystals
  • smectic layers

Cite this

Dierking, Ingo ; Mitov, Michel ; Osipov, Mikhail A. / Smectic layer instabilities in liquid crystals. In: Soft Matter. 2015 ; Vol. 11, No. 5. pp. 819-837.
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Smectic layer instabilities in liquid crystals. / Dierking, Ingo; Mitov, Michel; Osipov, Mikhail A.

In: Soft Matter, Vol. 11, No. 5, 07.02.2015, p. 819-837.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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