Critical behavior at the isotropic-to-nematic phase transition in a bent-core liquid crystal

D. Wiant, S. Stojadinovic, K. Neupane, S. Sharma, K. Fodor-Csorba, A. Jákli, J. T. Gleeson, S. Sprunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

61 Scopus citations

Abstract

Magnetic birefringence and dynamic light scattering measurements of orientational order parameter fluctuations at the isotropic-nematic phase transition of a bent-core liquid crystal reveal a pretransitional temperature dependence consistent with the standard Landau-deGennes mean field theory. However, as follows: the transition in the bent-core compound is more weakly first order (TNI - T* 0.4 °C), the leading Landau coefficient is ∼30 times lower, the viscosity associated with nematic order fluctuations is ∼10 times higher, and the density change is ∼10 times lower, than typically observed in calamitic (rod-shaped) liquid crystals. One consistent explanation for these anomalies is an optically isotropic phase composed of microscopic complexes or "clusters" of bent-core molecules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number030703
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Volume73
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 31 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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