Critical behavior at the isotropic-to-nematic phase transition in a bent-core liquid crystal.

Authors:
Strahinja Stojadinovic, Ph.D.
Strahinja Stojadinovic, Ph.D.
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Associate Professor
Medical Physics
Dallas, TX | United States

Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys 2006 Mar 24;73(3 Pt 1):030703. Epub 2006 Mar 24.

Department of Physics, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio 44242, USA.

Magnetic birefringence and dynamic light scattering measurements of orientational order parameter fluctuations at the isotropic-nematic phase transition of a bent-core liquid crystal reveal a pretransitional temperature dependence consistent with the standard Landau-deGennes mean field theory. However, as follows: the transition in the bent-core compound is more weakly first order (TNI-T* approximately 0.4 degrees C), the leading Landau coefficient is approximately 30 times lower, the viscosity associated with nematic order fluctuations is approximately 10 times higher, and the density change is approximately 10 times lower, than typically observed in calamitic (rod-shaped) liquid crystals. One consistent explanation for these anomalies is an optically isotropic phase composed of microscopic complexes or "clusters" of bent-core molecules.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.73.030703DOI Listing
March 2006
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