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Microscopic origin of ferroelectricity in chiral smectic c* liquid crystals and ordering of 'ferroelectric fishes' proposed by de gennes

Osipov, M.A. and Gorkunov, M.V. (2009) Microscopic origin of ferroelectricity in chiral smectic c* liquid crystals and ordering of 'ferroelectric fishes' proposed by de gennes. Liquid Crystals, 36 (10-11). pp. 1281-1288. ISSN 0267-8292

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Abstract

The qualitative microscopic mechanism of ferroelectric ordering in smectic C* liquid crystals originally proposed by de Gennes and others is analysed in detail using the molecular-statistical approach. The general expression is obtained for the spontaneous polarisation of the smectic C* phase composed of chiral and polar molecules of the C2 symmetry. The polarisation is shown to be determined by molecular chirality, molecular transverse dipole and the non-polar biaxial order parameter which does not vanish in the non-chiral smectic C phase. A particular molecular model is considered in which molecular chirality and molecular biaxiality are determined by the pair of off-centre transverse molecular dipoles. In the context of this model the spontaneous polarisation is evaluated both analytically and numerically.