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Issue 5, 2011
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Interface structure of the dark conglomerate liquid crystal phase

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Abstract

The dark conglomerate (DC) phase is the spontaneously chiral, isotropic fluid formed by achiral bent-core liquid crystal molecules characterized by well-defined local smectic liquid crystal layering deformed into a disordered “plumber's nightmare” array of 100 nm-scale, focal conic-like domains. Here we report the interface structure of this phase, showing that surface confinement orders the focal conics into a hexagonal plumber's nightmare lattice, directly confirming the topology proposed for the DC phase. The observations suggest that a bulk phase of saddle–splay dominated focal conics may be produced in DC materials under suitable conditions, which opens the way for the development of two-dimensional or even three-dimensional periodic dielectric media for photonic crystal applications.

Graphical abstract: Interface structure of the dark conglomerate liquid crystal phase

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Article information


Submitted
17 Sep 2010
Accepted
11 Nov 2010
First published
22 Dec 2010

Soft Matter, 2011,7, 1879-1883
Article type
Paper

Interface structure of the dark conglomerate liquid crystal phase

D. Chen, Y. Shen, C. Zhu, L. E. Hough, N. Gimeno, M. A. Glaser, J. E. Maclennan, M. B. Ros and N. A. Clark, Soft Matter, 2011, 7, 1879
DOI: 10.1039/C0SM01009J

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