The ground state of the novel liquid crystal phase formed by achiral banana-shaped nitro-molecules and known as B7 is not understood. While spirals and myelins spontaneously appear on cooling from the isotropic liquid, neither mature to form B7 monocrystals. We tried suppressing the flow associated with these growth transients by applying large electric fields to thin samples (1-4 μm thick). While a field untwists some spirals and coarsens the less mobile myelin textures, it stimulates even more flow and a B7 texture with variable but exceedingly small length scales.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics