In 2006, employing ellipsometry and resonant x-ray diffraction, our research group discovered a liquid crystal mesophase having a six-layer periodicity in a ternary mixture (mixture A) as well as in a binary mixture (mixture B). This phase shows antiferroelectric-like properties. Subsequently, J. K. Vij's group used field-induced birefringence to explore the physical properties of various binary mixtures similar to mixture B. Recently, Y. Takanishi et al. obtained dielectric responses and two-dimensional microbeam resonant x-ray diffraction profiles as a function of temperature from a different binary mixture with one compound of the mixture containing a central bromine atom. They discovered another new mesophase which shows a six-layer structure and displays ferrielectric-like responses along with a different phase sequence. This article will review the sequence of events leading up to the discovery of the new phases with a six-layer periodicity and highlight differences in conclusions about the new phases and an ongoing debate about the existence of a phase with five-layer periodicity.
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- SmC<inf>d6</inf>∗ phase
- SmC∗ variant phases
- null transmission ellipsometry
- resonant x-ray diffraction