Short Range Order In The Isotropic Phase Of Antiferroelectric Liquid Crystals

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Liquid Crystals


Optical activity measurements in the isotropic phase of two antiferroelectric liquid crystal systems in which the chirality can be varied reveal unusual behaviour of the short range order. In one system the phase sequence as the chirality is increased is smectic A, smectic C-A*, and smectic Q. In the other system the phase sequence is smectic C*, smectic C-A*, and smectic Q as the chirality is increased. The short range order of the isotropic phase behaves similarly for these systems, showing mean field behaviour at low chirality and far above the phase transition, but deviating from this behaviour significantly as the chirality is increased and the phase transition is approached. These optical activity results indicate how different is the short range order in the isotropic phase for these antiferroelectric liquid crystal systems acid demonstrates the crucial role played by chirality. Past theoretical work that includes smectic-like fluctuations in the calculation of short range order in the isotropic phase is capable of qualitatively explaining these results.

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