Role of molecular bend angle and biaxiality in the stabilization of the twist-bend nematic phase†
What are the prerequisites for acquiring a stable twist-bend nematic phase (NTB)? Addressing this question has led to the synthesis of a vast number of new compounds, concluding each time that the molecule's shape is one of the predominant factors. Inspired by the expanding knowledge of different achiral bent-shaped molecules forming a twist-bend nematic phase, we reinvestigate the interplay between a molecule's bend angle and a molecule's arms molecular biaxiality. Employing our previously developed generalized mean-field model, we explore more obtuse bend angles. We observe direct phase transition sequences between locally biaxial and uniaxial variants of NTB, along with biaxial and uniaxial nematic phases. Additionally, we present a comprehensive overview of how phase diagrams evolve according to alterations in the value of the bend angle and the magnitude of biaxiality.