Field-Control of the Surface Electroclinic Effect in Chiral Smectic-A Liquid Crystals

Joseph E. Maclennan ,David Muller ,Ren-Fan Shao ,David Coleman ,Daniel J. Dyer ,David M. Walba ,Noel A. Clark

Department of Physics, and Ferroelectric Liquid Crystal Materials Research Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, U.S.A.
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Ferroelectric Liquid Crystal Materials Research Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, U.S.A.

The surface electroclinic effect, which causes an azimuthal deviation of the layer normal from the surface rubbing direction in cells of chiral smectic A liquid crystals, can be eliminated (and even reversed) by applying an electric field during cooling from the isotropic phase. The observed dependence on field strength confirms the notion that the surface electroclinic tilt results from an effective surface electric field and suggests a general method for controlling the azimuthal layer alignment of chiral smectic cells.


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