Organization of the polarization splay modulated smectic liquid crystal phase by topographic confinement

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Recently, the topographic patterning of surfaces by lithography and nanoimprinting has emerged as a new and powerful tool for producing single structural domains of liquid crystals and other soft materials. Here the use of surface topography is extended to the organization of liquid crystals of bent-core molecules, soft materials that, on the one hand, exhibit a rich, exciting, and intensely studied array of novel phases, but that, on the other hand, have proved very difficult to align. Among the most notorious in this regard are the polarization splay modulated (B7) phases, in which the symmetry-required preference for ferroelectric polarization to be locally bouquet-like or "splayed" is expressed. Filling space with splay of a single sign requires defects and in the B7 splay is accommodated in the form of periodic splay stripes spaced by defects and coupled to smectic layer undulations. Upon cooling from the isotropic phase this structure grows via a first order transition in the form of an exotic array of twisted filaments and focal conic defects that are influenced very little by classic alignment methods. By contrast, growth under conditions of confinement in rectangular topographic channels is found to produce completely new growth morphology, generating highly ordered periodic layering patterns. The resulting macroscopic order will be of great use in further exploration of the physical properties of bent-core phases and offers a route for application of difficult-to-align soft materials as are encountered in organic electronic and optical applications.
Publisher
NATL ACAD SCIENCES
Issue Date
2010-12
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Keywords

BANANA-SHAPED MOLECULES; ACHIRAL MOLECULES; ALIGNMENT; FILMS

Citation

PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, v.107, no.50, pp.21311 - 21315

ISSN
0027-8424
DOI
10.1073/pnas.1014593107
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/96669
Appears in Collection
NT-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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