Electrooptics of chiral nematics formed by molecular dimers

Jie Xiang*, Sergij V. Shiyanovskii, Yannian Li, Corrie T. Imrie, Quan Li, Oleg D. Lavrentovich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Citations (Scopus)


Electrically induced reorientation of liquid crystal (LC) director caused by dielectric anisotropy is a fundamental phenomenon widely used in modern technologies. We demonstrate an electrooptic effect in a chiral nematic LC with a distinct oblique-helicoidal director deformation. The effect, predicted theoretically in late 1960-ies, is observed in a chiral nematic (cholesteric) in which the ground field-free state of the director is a right-angle helicoid. In the electric field, the director forms an oblique helicoid with the pitch and cone angle controlled by the field. The effect is observed in a dimer nematic material in which the bend elastic constant is much smaller than its twist counterpart. The heliconical structure can be used in two different geometries of a sandwich-type cell, with the axis of the oblique helicoid being either parallel or perpendicular to the bounding plates. In the first case, the structure can be used as tunable diffraction grating controlled by the in-plane electric field. In the second case, the structure represents an optical Bragg reflector in which the wavelength of reflected light is controlled in a broad spectral range (from ultraviolet to infrared and beyond, depending on the composition) by a top-down electric field; it can find applications in reflective displays, tunable color filters and lasers.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLIQUID CRYSTALS XVIII
EditorsIC Khoo
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2014
EventConference on Liquid Crystals XVIII - San Diego, California, United States
Duration: 17 Aug 201420 Aug 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceConference on Liquid Crystals XVIII
CountryUnited States


  • liquid crystal
  • oblique helicoid
  • chiral nematic
  • electrooptics
  • liquid-crystals
  • field

Cite this

Xiang, J., Shiyanovskii, S. V., Li, Y., Imrie, C. T., Li, Q., & Lavrentovich, O. D. (2014). Electrooptics of chiral nematics formed by molecular dimers. In IC. Khoo (Ed.), LIQUID CRYSTALS XVIII (Vol. 9182). (Proceedings of SPIE; Vol. 9182). SPIE - INT SOC OPTICAL ENGINEERING. https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2062737