Observations of the liquid-crystal analog of the Abrikosov phase

K. J. Ihn, J. A.N. Zasadzinski, R. Pindak, A. J. Slaney, J. Goodby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Freeze-fracture transmission electron micrographs of the smectic A* phase confirm the twist grain boundary model of Renn and Lubensky. The fracture surface has an undulating structure with a 0.5-micrometer helical pitch parallel to 4.1-nanometer smectic layers. The layers are disrupted by a lattice of screw dislocations oriented normal to the helical axis. Optical diffraction shows that rotation of smectic blocks occurs in discrete steps of about 17°; hence, the screw dislocations are 14 to 15 nanometers apart and the grain boundaries are 24 nanometers apart. These observations show that the SmA* phase is the liquid-crystal analog of the Abrikosov phase in superconductors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-278
Number of pages4
Issue number5080
StatePublished - 1992


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