A heptamethyltrisiloxane liquid crystal (LC) exhibiting I-SmA∗-SmC∗ phases has been characterized by calorimetry, polarizing microscopy, x-ray diffraction, electro-optics, and dielectric spectroscopy. Observations of a large electroclinic effect, a large increase in the birefringence (Δn) with electric field, a low shrinkage in the layer thickness (∼1.75%) at 20 °C below the SmA∗-SmC∗ transition, and low values of the reduction factor (∼0.40) suggest that the SmA∗ phase in this material is of the de Vries type. The reduction factor is a measure of the layer shrinkage in the SmC∗ phase and it should be zero for an ideal de Vries. Moreover, a decrease in the magnitude of Δn with decreasing temperature indicates the presence of the temperature-dependent tilt angle in the SmA∗ phase. The electro-optic behavior is explained by the generalized Langevin-Debye model as given by Shen et al. [Y. Shen, Phys. Rev. E 88, 062504 (2013)10.1103/PhysRevE.88.062504]. The soft-mode dielectric relaxation strength shows a critical behavior when the system goes from the SmA∗ to the SmC∗ phase.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistics and Probability
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics