Fast Analog Electrooptic Liquid Crystal Materials

Lead Research Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Department Name: Mathematics and Statistics

Abstract

A joint program of research in chiral/polar liquid crystals showing fast analog electrooptics is proposed between experimental and computer simulation group at the University of Colorado, Boulder, experimental groups at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, the University of Stuttgart, Germany and Queen's University, Canada, and the theoretical group at the University of Strathclyde, UK. While various combinations of the partners have been collaborating separately over the past several years, all with joint publications, the proposed Network will create a uniquely powerful team for forefront research on chiral liquid crystals. The proposal is focused into synthesis, characterization and theoretical modelling of novel smectic liquid crystal materials, which will have a number of advantages over the existing materials including much faster switching, lower energy consumption and a broader range of applications in electrooptic and all optical devices. A number of exotic chiral smectic liquid crystal materials will be investigated including the V-shaped switching ferroelectric smectics with the most rapid analog liquid crystal electro-optic effects; the deVries materials which tilt without layer contraction in the Smectic C* phase, the closely related orthoconic high-tilt antiferroelectrics; and the recently discovered family of bent-core liquid crystals with a polar smectic A phase that give phase-only electrooptic modulation The de Vries type smectic materials are characterized by anomalously weak layer contraction which enables one to avoid buckling of smectic layers at the tilting transition leading to the formation of the so-called zig-zag defects which seriously degrade the optical quality of smectic materials.. All of these smectic materials will be studied experimentally using polarized microscopy, polarization and tilt angle measurements, x-ray scattering technique and refractometry, and new materials with advanced characteristics will be synthesized using guidance from experiment, molecular theory and atomistic computer simulations. The proposed research highlights fundamental studies of the relationships of the properties of these novel liquid crystal systems with ramifications for a variety of areas in soft materials science. The corresponding materials development will enable a variety of novelapplications, including holographic data storage and projection, beam steering, and chirality detection. The theoretical part of the whole proposal (Work package Strathclyde) is focused into the development of the advance molecular theory of de Vries type ferroelectric materials, taking into account short-range orientational and positional intermolecular correlations, and interpretation of the experimental results obtained by other teams. Using the results of experimental studies and computer simulations, molecular models of analog de Vries smectic materials with nano-segregating groups will be developed, order parameters of these materials will be calculated numerically and compared with experimental data. Effect of various molecular model parameters on the value and temperature variation of the spontaneous polarization in de Vries type materials will be investigated including the effects of molecular shape and flexibility, dipole distribution and nano-segregating groups.

Planned Impact

A number of commercial groups who are currently investing substantial resources into commercialization of display devices based on ferro- and antiferroelectric liquid crystals will be the immediate beneficiaries of the proposed study.. They will benefit from an improved understanding of the properties of novel advanced ferroelectric smectic materials of de Vries type and materials composed of bent-core molecules, which can be used in applications to replace the existing materials or can be used in novel electro=optical and all optical applications. Eventually the manufacturing and engineering companies and public sector institutions, who are the end users of electro-optical and all optical devices, will also benefit from this research even though there is still some way to the large scale production of novel devices. To increase the likelihood of significant impact from this project in the UK we plan the following activities: 1. During the final stage of the project, when all main results are available, we will summarize them in a review article which will be understandable to nonacademic beneficiaries. This review may be published, for example, in Journal of Advanced Materials. 2. During the same period we will organize a one-day workshop in Glasgow where we will present the main results of the project and distribute relevant publications. Representatives of relevant UK companies will be invited.

Publications

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Dierking I (2015) Smectic layer instabilities in liquid crystals. in Soft matter

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Gorkunov MV (2011) Molecular theory of smectic ordering in liquid crystals with nanoscale segregation of different molecular fragments. in Physical review. E, Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics

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Nonnenmacher D (2014) Sign inversion of the spontaneous polarization in a "de Vries"-type ferroelectric liquid crystal. in Chemphyschem : a European journal of chemical physics and physical chemistry

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Osipov M (2014) Molecular theory of proper ferroelectricity in bent-core liquid crystals in The European Physical Journal E

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Osipov MA (2012) Influence of dipole-dipole correlations on the stability of the biaxial nematic phase in the model bent-core liquid crystal. in Journal of physics. Condensed matter : an Institute of Physics journal

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Pajak G (2013) Unified molecular field theory of nematic, smectic-A, and smectic-C phases. in Physical review. E, Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics

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Sanchez-Castillo A (2012) Orientational order parameters of a de Vries-type ferroelectric liquid crystal obtained by polarized Raman spectroscopy and x-ray diffraction. in Physical review. E, Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics

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Sreenilayam S (2013) Biaxial order parameter in the homologous series of orthogonal bent-core smectic liquid crystals. in Physical review. E, Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics

 
Description We have developed a unified molecular theory of phase transitions between different liquid crystal phases and explained the properties of the so called de Vries smectics, i.e. smectic liquid crystals that tilt without layer contraction. We have also developed a theory of dipole-dipole interactions and correlations in polar liquid crystals composed of bent core molecules.
Exploitation Route Our theoretical results are used by other members of the international team which participate at the Materials World Project
and may also be used by other experimental groups worldwide who investigate ferroelectric and bent-core liquid crystals.
Sectors Education,Electronics,Energy

 
Description Collaboration and travel grants with Russian Academy of Sciences
Amount 2,800,000 руб. (RUB)
Organisation Ministry of Education and Science 
Sector Public
Country Russian Federation
Start 01/2012 
End 11/2013
 
Description Manhester Liquid Crystal Group 
Organisation University of Manchester
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have developed a number of theoretical models which describe the expeprimental data obtained in Manchester
Collaborator Contribution mmebers of the Manchester experimental group have obtained many interesting results which require an interpretation
Impact I have published 7 papers together with Prof. Helen Gleeson, Dr. Ingo Dierking and other members of the Manchester group.
 
Description Materials World Network project 
Organisation Chalmers University of Technology
Country Sweden 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution In this international project I and my tam have been responsible for the development of a molecular theory of de Vries type and bent-core liquid crystals and for the interpetation of the experimental data obtained by the partner experimental groups
Collaborator Contribution The partners from the Universities of Stuttgart< Colorado, Queen's University and Chalmers University of Technology have obtained a large amount of interesting experimental results concerning polar liquid crystals which are interesting from the fundamental point of view and may be used in applications
Impact This collaboration is multi-disciplinary between mathematics, Physics Physical and organic Chemistry. A number of new polar liquid crystal materials have been synthesized, characterised using various experimental techniques and described theoretically
Start Year 2010
 
Description Materials World Network project 
Organisation Queen's University
Country Canada 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution In this international project I and my tam have been responsible for the development of a molecular theory of de Vries type and bent-core liquid crystals and for the interpetation of the experimental data obtained by the partner experimental groups
Collaborator Contribution The partners from the Universities of Stuttgart< Colorado, Queen's University and Chalmers University of Technology have obtained a large amount of interesting experimental results concerning polar liquid crystals which are interesting from the fundamental point of view and may be used in applications
Impact This collaboration is multi-disciplinary between mathematics, Physics Physical and organic Chemistry. A number of new polar liquid crystal materials have been synthesized, characterised using various experimental techniques and described theoretically
Start Year 2010
 
Description Materials World Network project 
Organisation University of Colorado Boulder
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution In this international project I and my tam have been responsible for the development of a molecular theory of de Vries type and bent-core liquid crystals and for the interpetation of the experimental data obtained by the partner experimental groups
Collaborator Contribution The partners from the Universities of Stuttgart< Colorado, Queen's University and Chalmers University of Technology have obtained a large amount of interesting experimental results concerning polar liquid crystals which are interesting from the fundamental point of view and may be used in applications
Impact This collaboration is multi-disciplinary between mathematics, Physics Physical and organic Chemistry. A number of new polar liquid crystal materials have been synthesized, characterised using various experimental techniques and described theoretically
Start Year 2010
 
Description Materials World Network project 
Organisation University of Stuttgart
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution In this international project I and my tam have been responsible for the development of a molecular theory of de Vries type and bent-core liquid crystals and for the interpetation of the experimental data obtained by the partner experimental groups
Collaborator Contribution The partners from the Universities of Stuttgart< Colorado, Queen's University and Chalmers University of Technology have obtained a large amount of interesting experimental results concerning polar liquid crystals which are interesting from the fundamental point of view and may be used in applications
Impact This collaboration is multi-disciplinary between mathematics, Physics Physical and organic Chemistry. A number of new polar liquid crystal materials have been synthesized, characterised using various experimental techniques and described theoretically
Start Year 2010
 
Description Stuttgart Liquid Crystal Group 
Organisation University of Stuttgart
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I have explained a a number of experiments undertaken at the group of prof. Giesselmann in Stuttgart
Collaborator Contribution The experimental group of F.Giesselmann has made a number of experiments inspired by my theoretical work and has provided numerous new experimental data/
Impact About 12 joint publications. This is a multidisciplinary collaboration including physical chemistry< theoretical physics and applied mathematics