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Nematic twist-bend phase with nanoscale modulation of molecular orientation

Borshch, V.; Kim, Y. -K.; Xiang, J.; Gao, M.; Jákli, A.; Panov, V. P.; Vij, J. K.; Imrie, C. T.; Tamba, M. G.; Mehl, G. H.; Lavrentovich, O. D.


V. Borshch

Y. -K. Kim

J. Xiang

M. Gao

A. Jákli

V. P. Panov

J. K. Vij

C. T. Imrie

M. G. Tamba

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).


Borshch, V., Kim, Y. -., Xiang, J., Gao, M., Jákli, A., Panov, V. P., …Lavrentovich, O. D. (2013). Nematic twist-bend phase with nanoscale modulation of molecular orientation. Nature communications, 4, Article ARTN 2635.

Acceptance Date Sep 18, 2013
Online Publication Date Nov 5, 2013
Publication Date Nov 5, 2013
Deposit Date Nov 13, 2014
Publicly Available Date Nov 13, 2014
Journal Nature Communications
Electronic ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Article Number ARTN 2635
Keywords Liquid crystals
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Copy of article published in Nature Communications v.4, 2013 at: <a style="text-decoration: underline;" href="" target="_blank"></a>


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