Document Type

Article

Rights

This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only

Disciplines

1.3 PHYSICAL SCIENCES

Abstract

Liquid crystals (LCs) represent one of the foundations of modern communication and photonic technologies. Present display technologies are based mainly on nematic LCs, which suffer from limited response time for use in active colour sequential displays and limited image grey scale. Herein we report the first observation of a spontaneously formed helix in a polar tilted smectic LC phase (SmC phase) of achiral bent-core (BC) molecules with the axis of helix lying parallel to the layer normal and a pitch much shorter than the optical wavelength. This new phase shows fast (∼30 μs) grey-scale switching due to the deformation of the helix by the electric field. Even more importantly, defect-free alignment is easily achieved for the first time for a BC mesogen, thus providing potential use in large-scale devices with fast linear and thresholdless electro-optical response. less

DOI

https://10.1038/ncomms11369

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