Controlling chirality with helix inversion in cholesteric liquid crystals
The helical organization of cholesteric liquid crystals is omnipresent in living matter. Achieving control over the structure of the cholesteric helix consequently holds great potential for developing stimuli-responsive materials matching the level of sophistication of biological systems. In particular, inversion of a cholesteric helix is associated with inversion of the circular polarization of the light it reflects. While control over the cholesteric period has been thoroughly investigated, reports on helix inversion are scarcer. Predicting which systems display helix inversion also remains a challenge because of the subtle balance of contributions underlying this phenomenon. Here we provide an overview on recent advances in controlling and understanding helix inversion in cholesteric liquid crystals.