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Molecular models for ferroelectric liquid crystals with conventional and anomalously weak layer contraction

Osipov, M.A. and Gorkunov, M.V. and Gleeson, H.F. and Jaradat, S. (2008) Molecular models for ferroelectric liquid crystals with conventional and anomalously weak layer contraction. European Physical Journal E - Soft Matter, 26 (4). pp. 395-404. ISSN 1292-8941

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Abstract

A molecular theory of the ferroelectric smectic C* phase has been developed using the simple model of a chiral molecule composed of a uniaxial core and a pair of off-center nonparallel dipoles which determine molecular chirality and polarity. The interaction between uniaxial cores is modeled by a rather general effective potential which can be used to describe smectic materials with both conventional and anomalously weak layer contraction in the smectic C* phase. Spontaneous polarization, tilt, and layer spacing are calculated numerically as functions of temperature, and it is shown that the variation of the polarization generally deviates from that of the tilt angle. It is shown that this deviation is more pronounced in smectic materials tilting with low layer contraction which corresponds to existing experimental data. The model has been used to reproduce qualitatively the experimental data for polarization, tilt and layer spacing for two similar mixtures exhibiting conventional and anomalously weak layer contraction. The polarization and the tilt are also calculated in the case when the smectic A-smectic C* transition is characterized by the biaxial primary order parameter.