An unusual chevron structure in an achiral smectic C liquid crystal device
The layer structure that occurs in an achiral smectic C liquid crystal device has been investigated as a function of temperature using the small angle X-ray scattering facility at the Synchrotron Radiation Source, Daresbury UK. The material studied shows a direct phase transition from the nematic to the smectic C phase. The layer structure proposed on the basis of the diffraction data is relatively complex, containing regions with chevron, quasi-bookshelf and curved structures. A rationale for the formation of the structure is presented, relying on both the phase transition characteristics of the system and the anisotropic layer elasticity in the smectic C phase. Qualitative analysis indicates that the layer constant A is greater than A 21, i.e. layer flexing is easier perpendicular to the plane of the director than parallel to it. It is also demonstrated that the surface chevron angle is several degrees different from the tilt angle of the smectic C phase at temperatures well below the smectic C to nematic phase transition. 12
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