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Unusual behaviour under the applied electric field for new cholesteric liquid crystals with extremely short pitch

New lactic acid derivatives have been prepared and studied. We have found that they form cholesteric phase with the helix pitch length in interval 120 – 200 nm within a broad temperature range. Due to the positive dielectric anisotropy and the short pitch, the applied electric field causes reversible optical changes in planar cell, due to reorientation the long molecular axis in the applied electric field and electro-optical effect was observed under polarizing microscope. Presence of short pitch and possibility to effectively affect the optical properties is promising from the point of view of specific applications. A model based on disclinationswas developed to explain the stripe texture under a sufficiently high electric field. The model also allows us to estimate the surface anchoring energy.

Fig. 1: Texture of the cholesteric liquid crystal in applied electric field. In the inset the chemical formula of the studied compounds is present.

[1] V. Novotná, V. Hamplová, M. Glogarová, L. Lejček, E. Gorecka, Effect of the applied electric field on new cholesterics with extremely short pitch, Liq. Cryst. 45, 634 (2018),
[2] L. Lejček, V. Novotná, M. Glogarová, A model of field induced stripe texture in the cholesterics with extremely short pitch, Liq. Cryst. 46 (2019), DOI 10.1080/02678292.1550689.