Liquid crystal mesophases beyond commensurate four-layer periodicity

C. C. Huang, Shun Wang, Li Dong Pan, Z. Q. Liu, B. K. McCoy, Yuji Sasaki, Kenji Ema, P. Barois, Ron Pindak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


For more than one decade, SmC d4, SmC d3, andSmC∗ A were the only three confirmed commensurate SmC* variant phases with periodicities less than or equal four layers. In 2006, employing ellipsometry and resonant X-ray diffraction (RXRD), our research team first discovered a new liquid crystal mesophase having a six-layer periodicity in one ternary mixture which includes one sulfur-containing compound. From our ellipsometric results, this phase showed antiferroelectric-like optical response. This novel discovery inspired renewed interest to search for liquid crystal mesophases with commensurate periodicities greater than four layers. Soon after, another mesophase having a six-layer structure and showing a ferrielectric-like dielectric response, instead, was uncovered by RXRD measurements on a different binary mixture which has one bromine-containing compound. Meanwhile mesophases having a 5-, 8-, 12- or 15-layer periodicity were reported. However, numerous questions remain to be addressed associated with these unusual reported phases. Theoretical models giving rise to mesophases with periodicities greater than four layers have been developed; but, to date, none of them have provided satisfactory explanations of all the physical phenomena related to the mesophases exhibiting a six-layer structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-78
Number of pages21
JournalLiquid Crystals Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Taylor & Francis.


  • Null-transmission ellipsometry
  • Resonant X-ray diffraction
  • SmC
  • SmC variant phases


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