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Ferroelectricity in liquid crystals—materials, properties and applications

Hird, Michael


Michael Hird


Molecular chirality confers the necessary reduced symmetry to tilted smectic liquid crystals and disordered crystals to generate ferroelectric properties. By definition, ferroelectrics are materials that possess a spontaneous polarisation in the absence of an external field, and on the application of an electric field, the polarisation can be reoriented. Combine the fluidity of liquid crystals with ferroelectric properties and a fast-switching electro-optic device is possible. However, the road was very rocky in developing ferroelectric technology into commercially viable devices, despite the many advantages over the existing nematic-based devices. Indeed, research and development is on–going to enable ferroelectric technology to be more widely adopted. This review introduces the phenomenon of ferroelectric liquid crystals and charts the development of the technology to commercially viable devices, with a specific focus on the development of suitable materials in terms of design, synthesis and properties.


Hird, M. (2011). Ferroelectricity in liquid crystals—materials, properties and applications. Liquid crystals, 38(11-12), 1467-1493.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 15, 2011
Online Publication Date Nov 22, 2011
Publication Date 2011-11
Print ISSN 0267-8292
Electronic ISSN 1366-5855
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 38
Issue 11-12
Pages 1467-1493
Keywords Liquid crystals; Ferroelectric; Synthesis; Chirality; Smectic C
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