Nematic twist-bend phase with nanoscale modulation of molecular orientation

Borshch, Volodymyr; Kim, Young-Ki; Xiang, Jie (Physicist); Gao, Min (Electron microscopist) ; Jákli, A. (Antal); Panov, Vitaly P.; Vij, Jagdish K.; Imrie, Corrie T.; Tamba, Maria-Gabriela; Mehl, Georg H.; Lavrentovich, Oleg D.

Department of Chemistry; Department of Chemistry
REF 2014 submission; Physical sciences; Materials science
2013

Journal article


Rights
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Abstract

A state of matter in which molecules show a long-range orientational order and no positional order is called a nematic liquid crystal. The best known and most widely used (for example, in modern displays) is the uniaxial nematic, with the rod-like molecules aligned along a single axis, called the director. When the molecules are chiral, the director twists in space, drawing a right-angle helicoid and remaining perpendicular to the helix axis; the structure is called a chiral nematic. Here using transmission electron and optical microscopy, we experimentally demonstrate a new nematic order, formed by achiral molecules, in which the director follows an oblique helicoid, maintaining a constant oblique angle with the helix axis and experiencing twist and bend. The oblique helicoids have a nanoscale pitch. The new twist-bend nematic represents a structural link between the uniaxial nematic (no tilt) and a chiral nematic (helicoids with right-angle tilt).

Publisher
The University of Hull
Peer reviewed
Yes
Language
English
Extent
2 MB
Identifier
hull:10014

Journal

Journal title
Nature Communications
Publication date
2013
Publisher
Nature Publishing Group
DOI
10.1038/ncomms3635
ISSN (Electronic)
2041-1723
Volume
4
Start page
Article number: 2635
Notes

Copy of article published in Nature Communications v.4, 2013 at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms3635

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