Article

Raman scattering study of phase biaxiality in a thermotropic bent-core nematic liquid crystal.

School of Polymer, Textile and Fiber Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Physical Review Letters (Impact Factor: 7.73). 07/2010; 105(2):027801. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.109801
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Polarized Raman spectroscopy was used to investigate the development of orientational order and the degree of phase biaxiality in a bent-core mesogenic system. The values of the uniaxial order parameters and , and biaxial order parameters , , and , and their evolution with temperature were determined. The temperature dependence of almost all order parameters reveals a second order transition from the uniaxial to biaxial nematic phase with increasing to ∼0.22 before a first order transition to the smectic-C phase, upon cooling.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
125 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We study optical, structural, and surface anchoring properties of thermotropic nematic bent-core material A131. The focus is on the features associated with orientational order as the material has been reported to exhibit not only the usual uniaxial nematic but also the biaxial nematic phase. We demonstrate that A131 experiences a surface anchoring transition from a perpendicular to tilted alignment when the temperature decreases. The features of the tilted state are consistent with surface-induced birefringence associated with smectic layering near the surface and a molecular tilt that changes along the normal to the substrates. The surface-induced birefringence is reduced to zero by a modest electric field that establishes a uniform uniaxial nematic state. Both refractive and absorptive optical properties of A131 are consistent with the uniaxial order. We found no evidence of the "polycrystalline" biaxial behavior in the cells placed in crossed electric and magnetic fields. We observe stable topological point defects (boojums and hedgehogs) and nonsingular "escaped" disclinations pertinent only to the uniaxial order. Finally, freely suspended films of A131 show uniaxial nematic and smectic textures; a decrease in the film thickness expands the temperature range of stability of smectic textures, supporting the idea of surface-induced smectic layering. Our conclusion is that A131 features only a uniaxial nematic phase and that the apparent biaxiality is caused by subtle surface effects rather than by the bulk biaxial phase.
    Physical Review E 10/2010; 82(4 Pt 1):041711. · 2.31 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We determine the bifurcation phase diagrams with isotropic (I), uniaxial (N(U)) and biaxial (N(B)) nematic phases for model bent-core mesogens using Onsager-type theory. The molecules comprise two or three Gay-Berne interacting ellipsoids of uniaxial and biaxial shape and a transverse central dipole. The Landau point is found to turn into an I-N(B) line for the three-center model with a large dipole moment. For the biaxial ellipsoids, a line of Landau points is observed even in the absence of the dipoles.
    Physical Review Letters 07/2011; 107(2):027802. · 7.73 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A molecular theory of biaxial nematic ordering in the system of bent-core molecules has been developed in the two-particle cluster approximation which enables one to take into account short-range polar correlations determined by both electrostatic dipole-dipole interaction and polar molecular shape. All orientational order parameters and short-range correlation functions are calculated numerically as functions of temperature in the uniaxial and in the biaxial nematic phases, and the results are compared with the ones obtained in the mean-field approximation and in the cluster approximation but without taking into consideration the dipole-dipole interaction. It is shown that short-range polar correlations and, in particular, the dipole-dipole correlations dramatically increase the temperature of the transition into the biaxial nematic phase and enhancing its stability range. The results are also very sensitive to the value of the opening angle of a model bent-core molecule.
    Journal of Physics Condensed Matter 03/2012; 24(14):142201. · 2.22 Impact Factor

Full-text

View
88 Downloads
Available from
May 28, 2014