Skip to main content

Dielectric response of electric-field distortions of the twist-bend nematic phase for LC dimers

Merkel, K.; Welch, C.; Ahmed, Z.; Piecek, W.; Mehl, G. H.


K. Merkel

C. Welch

Z. Ahmed

W. Piecek


Wide band dielectric spectroscopy of bent-shaped achiral liquid-crystal dimers 1′′-n′′-bis(4-cyanobiphenyl-4′-yl) n-alkanes (CBnCB n = 7, 9, 11) has been investigated in a frequency range 0.1 Hz–100 MHz using planar-aligned cells of sample thicknesses ranging from 2 to 10 (μm) over a temperature range that covers both nematic and twist bend nematic phases. Two peaks in the dielectric spectrum in the higher frequency range are assigned to the molecular relaxation processes. The peak at the highest frequency, ∼40 to 80 MHz, is assigned to an internal precessional rotation of a single unit of the dimer around the director. The mode in the next lower frequency range of 2–10 MHz is assigned to the spinning rotation of the dimer around its long axis. This involves fluctuations of the dipole moment of the bent-shaped conformation that is directed along its arrow direction of the bow shape formed by the dimer. The peak in the frequency range 100 kHz–1 MHz can be assigned to the collective fluctuations of the local director with reference to the helical axis of the NTB structure. The dependence of its frequency on temperature is reminiscent of the soft mode observed at the SmA∗ to SmC∗ phase transition. This result clearly corresponds to the electroclinic effect—the response of the director to the applied electric field in an electro-optic experiment. The lowest frequency mode, observed in the frequency range of 0.1 Hz–100 Hz, is identified with the Goldstone mode. This mode is concerned with the long range azimuthal angle fluctuations of the local director. This leads to an alternating compression and expansion of the periodic structure of the NTB phase.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Sep 21, 2019
Journal The Journal of Chemical Physics
Print ISSN 0021-9606
Electronic ISSN 1089-7690
Publisher AIP Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 151
Issue 11
Pages 114908
APA6 Citation Merkel, K., Welch, C., Ahmed, Z., Piecek, W., & Mehl, G. H. (2019). Dielectric response of electric-field distortions of the twist-bend nematic phase for LC dimers. The Journal of chemical physics, 151(11), 114908.
Keywords Physical and Theoretical Chemistry; General Physics and Astronomy
Publisher URL
Additional Information Received: 2019-06-11; Accepted: 2019-08-19; Published: 2019-09-20


Article (2 Mb)

Copyright Statement
This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and AIP Publishing. This article appeared in K. Merkel, C. Welch, Z. Ahmed, W. Piecek and G. H. Mehl
J. Chem. Phys. 151, 114908 (2019) and may be found at

You might also like

Downloadable Citations