Reversible Switching Between Optically Isotropic and Birefringent States in a Bent-Core Liquid Crystal


  • The authors are grateful to Prof. D. Demus and Prof. I. Jánossy for helpful discussions. The work was supported in part by the Hungarian National Science Funds (OTKA T-030401, T32667), the international travel grant between the US National Science Foundation (NSF) and of the Hungarian Science Fund (HAS-OTKA). Partial support from the EU programs COST (Chemistry D14, WG15) is also acknowledged.


The tilted smectic liquid-crystal phase of an ester-based bent-core mesogen (see Figure) is optically isotropic due to the combination of suitable tilt and opening angles of the bent cores. In electric fields, V-shaped switching between isotropic and birefringent states is observed. Both the antiferroelectric and ferroelectric states consist of optically active domains due to the twisted molecular structure.