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Experimental indication of a devil's staircase structure in a smectic liquid crystal

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Bahr,  Christian
Group Structure formation in soft matter, Department of Dynamics of Complex Fluids, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Bahr, C., Fliegner, D., Booth, C. J., & Goodby, J. W. (1995). Experimental indication of a devil's staircase structure in a smectic liquid crystal. Physical Review E, 51(5), R3823-R3826. doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.51.R3823.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0029-B6CA-4
Abstract
Free-standing films of a chiral liquid-crystal compound have been studied by ellipsometry. In the temperature range between the ferroelectric smectic-C and the paraelectric smectic-A phase we observe in thick films a sequence of alternating antiferroelectric and ferrielectric states. The number of these states depends strongly on the number of the molecular layers of which the film consists. Our results suggest the existence of a large number of different states in the corresponding bulk sample which may be a confirmation of the devil’s staircase structure proposed for these compounds.