Unexpected field-induced phase transitions between ferrielectric and antiferroelectric liquid crystal structures

S. Jaradat, P.D. Brimicombe, C. Southern, S.D. Siemianowski, E. DiMasi, M.A. Osipov, R. Pindak, H.F. Gleeson

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Liquid crystals are intriguing electrically responsive soft matter systems. We report previously unexplored field-induced changes in the structures of some frustrated liquid crystal phases and describe them theoretically. Specifically, we have discovered using resonant x-ray scattering that the four-layer intermediate smectic phase can undergo either a transition to the ferrielectric (three-layer) phase or to the ferroelectric phase, depending on temperature. Our studies of intermediate phases using electric fields offer a way to test theories that describe ferroelectricity in self-assembling fluids.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Review E: Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008


  • liquid crystals
  • phase transitions
  • optical display device
  • structure determination
  • X-ray scattering
  • liquid crystal structure
  • ferrielectric phase
  • ferroelectric phase
  • ferroelectricity
  • self-assembling fluids

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