Glycerol droplets at a nematic-liquid-crystal–air interface form two different lattices—hexagonal and dense quasihexagonal—which are separated by the energy barrier and can coexist. Director distortions around each droplet form an elastic dipole. The first order transition between the two lattices is driven by a reduction of the dipole-dipole repulsion through reorientation of these dipoles. The elastic-capillary attraction is essential for the both lattices. The effect has a many-body origin.
Temperature Dependence of Molecular Tilt Angle and Rotatory Power in a Ferroelectric Liquid Crystal with Polarization Sign Reversal01/01/1989
The molecular tilt angle of the ferroelectric liquid crystal IS-2424 monotonously increases in the smectic C* phase with decreasing temperature from zero at the smectic A-smectic C* transition to about θ = 15°. It can be described by a critical exponent β = 0.26 ± 0.02. The temperature dependence of the tilt angle is definitely not proportional to the temperature dependence of the spontaneous polarization which shows a sign reversal.