Heliconical smectic phases formed by achiral molecules

29 Aug 2017  ·  Abberley Jordan P., Killah Ross, Walker Rebecca, Storey John M. D., Imrie Corrie T., Salamonczyk Miroslaw, Zhu Chenhui, Gorecka Ewa, Pociecha Damian ·

A series of asymmetric dimers with an odd number of atoms in the spacer were found to form different types of twisted structures despite being achiral. The formation of a variety of helical structures is accompanied by a gradual freezing of molecular rotation... The tight pitch heliconical nematic (NTB) phase and heliconical tilted smectic C (SmCTB) phase are formed. In the lowest temperature smectic phase, HexI, the twist is expressed through the formation of hierarchical structure: nano-scale helices and mesoscopic helical filaments. The short pitch helical structure in smectic phases is confirmed by resonant x-ray measurements. read more

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Soft Condensed Matter