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

Jaradat, S. and Brimicombe, P.D. and Southern, C. and Siemianowski, S.D. and DiMasi, E. and Osipov, M.A. and Pindak, R. and Gleeson, H.F. (2008) Unexpected field-induced phase transitions between ferrielectric and antiferroelectric liquid crystal structures. Physical Review E: Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics, 77 (1). ISSN 1063-651X

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Abstract

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.