Smectic-A and smectic-C phases and phase transitions in 8̄S5 liquid-crystal-aerosil gels

B. Freelon*, M. Ramazanoglu, P. J. Chung, R. N. Page, Yuan Tse Lo, P. Valdivia, C. W. Garland, R. J. Birgeneau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


High-resolution x-ray scattering studies of the nonpolar thermotropic liquid crystal 4-n-pentylphenylthiol-4′-n-octyloxybenzoate (8̄S5) in aerosil gel nanonetworks reveal that the aerosil-induced disorder significantly alters both the nematic to smectic-A and smectic-A to smectic-C phase transitions. The limiting 8̄S5 smectic-A correlation length follows a power-law dependence on the aerosil density in quantitative agreement with the limiting lengths measured previously in other smectic-A liquid crystal gels. The smectic-A to smectic-C liquid crystalline phase transition is altered fundamentally by the presence of the aerosil gel. The onset of the smectic-C phase remains relatively sharp but there is an extended coexistence region where smectic-A and smectic-C domains can exist.

Original languageEnglish
Article number031705
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sept 2011
Externally publishedYes


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