Electrically induced reorientation of liquid crystals (LCs) is a fundamental phenomenon widely used in modern technologies. We observe experimentally an electrooptic effect in a cholesteric LC with a distinct oblique-helicoidal director deformation. The oblique helicoid, predicted in late 1960s, is made possible by recently developed dimer materials with an anomalously small bend elastic constant. Theoretical, numerical, and experimental analysis establishes that both the pitch and the cone angle of the oblique helicoid increase as the electric field decreases. At low fields, the oblique helicoid with the axis parallel to the field transforms into a right-angle helicoid (the ground state of field-free cholesteric) with the axis perpendicular to the field.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Physical Review Letters|
|Early online date||29 May 2014|
|Publication status||Published - 30 May 2014|