Experimental and Theoretical Studies of Liquid Crystal SmC* Variant Phases

Friday, October 1, 2004 - 11:00am - 11:50am
Keller 3-180
Cheng-Cher Huang (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)
In 1989, the discovery of antiferroelectric response in a liquid crystal mesophase (SmCA*) is an important landmark in soft condensed matter physics. Soon after, at least, three new mesophases (i.e. SmC.*, SmCFI2*, and SmCFI1*) were identified. Collectively, all these four new mesophases and SmC* are called SmC* variant phases. Since then, enormous experimental and theoretical effort has been aimed at addressing the following two important questions. Experimentally, our research group has accomplished remarkable tasks to identify the molecular arrangements in the SmC* variant phases [1]. Theoretically, one would like to figure out the origin or mechanism of such a rich phase sequence within a temperature window less than 50K. As a starting point, a phenomenological model based on mean-filed approaches will be presented [2].

1. A. Cady, et al., Phys. Rev. E 64, 050702 (2001) and Ref found therein.

2. D. A. Olson, et al., Phys. Rev. E 66, 021702 (2002).