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Issue 28, 2013
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Electric field effect on the phase diagram of a bent-core liquid crystal

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Abstract

We have investigated the effects of a low frequency electric field on the thermotropic behavior of a nematogenic bent-core liquid crystal by means of X-ray diffraction. We have determined for the first time the 2D phase diagram of the bent-core mesogen over an extended temperature-field (T, E) space. The results show that the electric field strongly affects both the mesophase sequence and the transition temperatures of the sample. An extraordinary field-induced shift of the nematic–isotropic phase transition is found, which has neither any experimental counterpart in conventional calamitic LCs, nor can be explained by the presently available theories. The phase diagram points out the existence of exotic phase transitions driven by either electric field or temperature along specific paths in the (T, E) space. In particular, the isothermal field-induced transition from the NCybC to the NCybA phase represents a breakthrough in the interpretation of previous XRD experimental results. These experimental findings provide further strong support of the now widely accepted cybotactic cluster picture of the nematic phase of bent-core mesogens.

Graphical abstract: Electric field effect on the phase diagram of a bent-core liquid crystal

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Article information


Submitted
26 Mar 2013
Accepted
17 May 2013
First published
20 May 2013

Soft Matter, 2013,9, 6475-6481
Article type
Paper

Electric field effect on the phase diagram of a bent-core liquid crystal

F. Vita, I. F. Placentino, C. Ferrero, G. Singh, E. T. Samulski and O. Francescangeli, Soft Matter, 2013, 9, 6475
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM50852H

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