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See detailSurface- and field-induced AFLC structures detected by dielectric spectroscopy
Lagerwall, Jan UL; Rudquist, Per; Lagerwall, Sven T. et al

in Ferroelectrics (2002)

In order to better understand which features in dielectric spectra of antiferroelectric liquid crystals (AFLCs) are due to the bulk director geometry and which are due to surface-induced structures, we ... [more ▼]

In order to better understand which features in dielectric spectra of antiferroelectric liquid crystals (AFLCs) are due to the bulk director geometry and which are due to surface-induced structures, we have performed dielectric spectroscopy measurements with simultaneous texture monitoring on two SmC*-exhibiting AFLC homologues (11- and 12F1M7), at varying cell gap. Such AFLCs are strongly affected by surface action even in fairly thick cells (d≈15µm), with heavy supercooling of the SmC* phase as the most obvious result. We show that the supercooled structure can be removed by AC-field treatment in the SmCa* phase, but some domains may stay in a polar geometry, as reflected in both texture and dielectric signature. On heating from the antiferroelectric SmC?* subphase into SmC*, meta-stable non-helical domains may form at cell gaps much larger than the helical pitch. These domains give rise to a lowfrequency dielectric absorption not seen in bulk SmC* samples. [less ▲]

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