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Issue 21, 2010
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Biaxial nematic phases

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An overview over the current state of research in the field of biaxial nematic liquid crystalline materials is given. After a short introduction, providing some general aspects and summarizing the classical approaches, the main part focuses on recent developments of new concepts for designing biaxial nematics. First, the major theoretical concepts are outlined, including the classification to different symmetries, the importance of cooperativity and cluster formation for the development of biaxial order and the conditions for the establishment of field induced and spontaneous biaxiality in nematic phases. These new concepts also require the re-evaluation of the tools used for the identification of phase biaxiality, which are discussed briefly. In the second part, recent progress in the design of potential biaxial nematic materials, especially focussing on bent-core molecules with nematic phases, is reported and, finally, comparisons with phase biaxiality as observed in smectic liquid crystals are made.

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The article was received on 25 Nov 2009, accepted on 15 Feb 2010 and first published on 14 Apr 2010

Article type: 20th Anniversary Article
DOI: 10.1039/B924810B
Citation: J. Mater. Chem., 2010,20, 4263-4294
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    Biaxial nematic phases

    C. Tschierske and D. J. Photinos, J. Mater. Chem., 2010, 20, 4263
    DOI: 10.1039/B924810B

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