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A method is described for determination of bulk values of a twist elastic coefficient for smectic c-director in chiral smectic liquid crystals with a helical structure. The method was applied to 4-methylbutyloxy phenyl-4-octyloxy-benzoate (C8) in the chiral smectic C* phase. The measurements were performed using optical detection in a small deformation limit. In contrast to the usual methods, initial deformation of the helix (caused by strong surface interactions) was avoided by using homeotropic aligned thick samples. The critical temperature dependence of the measured coefficient was observed. The relation between the measured parameter and the smectic C order parameter is presented.
Content available remote Non-linear electrooptic effect in antiferroelectric liquid crystal
Electrooptic phenomena caused by weak electric fields, much lower than those needed for the helix unwinding, in helical smectic liquid crystals were studied in thin planar samples. The investigations were performed in chiral liquid crystal 4-(1-methyl-heptyloxycarbonyl) phenyl 4'-(3-butanoyloxy propyl-1-oxy) biphenyl-4-carboxylate which exhibits antiferro-electric properties. We have found that electric field applied to a helical smectic liquid crystal caused two effects. First, the helix was deformed and the position of effective optic axis changed by an angle proportional to the field strength. The second effect, quadratic in field, causes the change in the shape of the indicatrix. As a consequence, the relative changes in the light intensity caused by external electric field consist of two components. The first component represents the modulation with the fundamental frequency and the second one with the doubled frequency (second harmonic of the electrooptic effect). The ab- solute values of the first- and second-order electrooptic coefficients have been determined and their temperature dependence discussed.
An analysis of consistency of dielectric and optical response methods is carried out for surface stabilized ferroelectric liquid crystals (SSFLC) with chevron geometry. The consistency is found both theoretically and experimentally for weak external electric fields of intermediate frequencies, for which the response of SSFLC is dominated by collective relaxation processes due to azimuthal reorientation of molecules arranging chevron layers. The methods are experimentally shown to lack consistency within very low, relatively low, and high field-frequency ranges. The disagreement appearing at relatively low frequencies is argued to be a consequence of different recording by dielectric and optical techniques the dynamics of zig-zag walls, forming defects in chevron structure.
Content available remote Non-linear electrooptical effects in chiral liquid crystals
We studied the electrooptical effects in ferroelectric liquid crystals at both the fundamental and the second harmonic frequency. The linear effects caused mainly by the changes in optic axis position give rise to the changes in the intensity of light passing the sample placed between crossed polarizers. The electric field causes also changes in the shape of the indicatrix. Both mentioned effects influence the second harmonic response. We observed that the defects present in ferroelectric liquid crystal sample affect the electrooptical response to a large extent. This influence is especially significant for the second order harmonics. The depth of light modulation depends on kind of alignment (bookshelf or chevron).
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