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Strathprints serves world leading Open Access research by the University of Strathclyde, including research by the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS), where research centres such as the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC), the Cancer Research UK Formulation Unit, SeaBioTech and the Centre for Biophotonics are based.

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Coexisting nematic and smectic A phases in a twisted liquid crystal cell

Ruan, L.Z. and Sambles, J.R. and Osipov, M.A. (2001) Coexisting nematic and smectic A phases in a twisted liquid crystal cell. Physical Review Letters, 86 (20). pp. 4548-4551. ISSN 0031-9007

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Abstract

Twisted homogeneously planar-aligned nematic liquid-crystal cells are cooled into the smectic- A phase. The expected defective structure does not form. Instead the cells still show good optical-guiding characteristics. Exploration of the cells using a half-leaky guided-mode arrangement reveals that the liquid-crystal phase separates into three or more regions. Adjacent to both the upper and lower boundaries is a region of highly twisted nematic liquid crystal. In the center of the cell is one or more homogeneous smectic- A regions with smectic layers normal to the cell surfaces, separated by twisted nematic. As the cell is cooled so the smectic- A regions grow in thickness with the nematic regions progressively thinning but with increased twist gradient. A theoretical model of these novel results is presented.