University of Hull logo

Nematic twist-bend phase with nanoscale modulation of molecular orientation

Mehl, Georg; Lavrentovich, O. D.; Borshch, Volodymyr; Mehl, G. H.; Gao, Min; Tamba, M. G.; Imrie, Corrie; Imrie, C. T.; Jákli, A; Vij, J. K.; Kim, Young-Ki; Panov, V. P.; Lavrentovich, Oleg; Jákli, A.; Panov, Vitaly; Gao, M.; Vij, Jagdish; Xiang, J.; Xiang, J.; Kim, Y. -K.; Borshch, V.


Volodymyr Borshch

Min Gao

Corrie Imrie

A Jákli

Young-Ki Kim

Oleg Lavrentovich

Vitaly Panov

Jagdish Vij

J. Xiang

V. Borshch

Y. -K. Kim

J. Xiang

M. Gao

A. Jákli

V. P. Panov

J. K. Vij

C. T. Imrie

G. H. Mehl

O. D. Lavrentovich


A state of matter in which molecules show a long-range orientational order and no positional order is called a nematic liquid crystal. The best known and most widely used (for example, in modern displays) is the uniaxial nematic, with the rod-like molecules aligned along a single axis, called the director. When the molecules are chiral, the director twists in space, drawing a right-angle helicoid and remaining perpendicular to the helix axis; the structure is called a chiral nematic. Here using transmission electron and optical microscopy, we experimentally demonstrate a new nematic order, formed by achiral molecules, in which the director follows an oblique helicoid, maintaining a constant oblique angle with the helix axis and experiencing twist and bend. The oblique helicoids have a nanoscale pitch. The new twist-bend nematic represents a structural link between the uniaxial nematic (no tilt) and a chiral nematic (helicoids with right-angle tilt).

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Nov 5, 2013
Journal Nature Communications
Electronic ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Article Number ARTN 2635
Keywords Physical sciences, Materials science
Additional Information Copy of article published in Nature Communications v.4, 2013 at:


Downloadable Citations