Molecular tilt induced by gold nanoparticles or clusters of nanoparticles in the liquid crystalline smectic A phase of “de Vries” type of compound


For the first time a tilt of molecules around the gold nanoparticles or their clusters has been observed in the liquid crystalline smectic A phase. We have shown the tilt is a consequence of interaction of the molecules with the surface of nanoparticle leading to a local smectic A-smectic C transition. Nanoparticles attracted to edge dislocations enable to visualize them under an optical polarizing microscope. The observed effect proves the concept of existence of a disordered tilt in the smectic A phase of “de Vries” type.

Fig. 1: Texture in the smectic A phase observed in the polarized light for liquid crystalline compound 9HL with admixture of gold nanoparticles. Nanoparticles decorate the edge dislocations lines.