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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Electrical and electronic engineering


Two homologue achiral bent-core liquid crystals (LCs), BCN66 and BCN84, in their nematic phases are studied by dielectric spectroscopy in the frequency range 10 Hz–10 MHz. In each of these compounds, two relaxation processes are identified and assigned to (i) collective dynamics of molecules in nanometer-sized cybotactic clusters and (ii) individual molecular relaxations, in the ascending order of frequency of the probe field. The temperature and the bias electric field dependence of the dielectric strength and relaxation frequency for these processes are shown to give rise to sharpness in cluster boundaries, increased size and volume fraction in the LC nematic phase. The effect of the bias field on the LC cell is similar to reducing its temperature; both variables increase the cluster size and volume fraction and give rise to sharp cluster boundaries. The findings confirm that dielectric spectroscopy is a powerful and an extremely useful technique to provide a deeper understanding of the mechanism of cybotactic cluster formation in the isotropic liquid and the nematic phase of LCs as a function of temperature and the bias field.