The recently discovered twist-bend nematic phase, Ntb, is a non-uniform equilibrium nematic phase that presents a spontaneous bend with a precession of the nematic director, n, on a conical helix with a tilt angle θ and helical pitch P. The stability of the Ntb phase has been recently demonstrated from the elastic point of view by extending the Frank elastic energy density of the nematic phase to include the symmetry element of the helical axis, t. In the present article, we investigate the influence of an external bulk field (magnetic or electric) on the Ntb phase. Using symmetry arguments we derive the expression for the flexoelectric polarisation in twist-bend nematic phases. We show that, besides the standard contribution related to the spatial variation of the nematic director, two new contributions connected with the existence of the helical axis appear. In the ground state, where the nematic deformation is a pure heliconical deformation, the new contribution vanishes identically, and the total flexoelectric polarisation is perpendicular to the nematic director. Furthermore, as an example, we study the role of an external magnetic field applied parallel to the helical axis for a material with positive magnetic susceptibility anisotropy. We show that the field modifies the range of values of the coupling parameter between the director and the helical axis, thus shifting the interval of values for which this coupling results in the Ntb phase.

A continuum description for cholesteric and nematic twist-bend phases based on symmetry considerations / Zola, R. S.; Barbero, Giovanni; Lelidis, Ioannis; Rosseto, M. P.; Evangelista, L. R.. - In: LIQUID CRYSTALS. - ISSN 0267-8292. - 44:1(2017), pp. 24-30. [10.1080/02678292.2016.1229054]

A continuum description for cholesteric and nematic twist-bend phases based on symmetry considerations

BARBERO, GIOVANNI;LELIDIS, IOANNIS;
2017

Abstract

The recently discovered twist-bend nematic phase, Ntb, is a non-uniform equilibrium nematic phase that presents a spontaneous bend with a precession of the nematic director, n, on a conical helix with a tilt angle θ and helical pitch P. The stability of the Ntb phase has been recently demonstrated from the elastic point of view by extending the Frank elastic energy density of the nematic phase to include the symmetry element of the helical axis, t. In the present article, we investigate the influence of an external bulk field (magnetic or electric) on the Ntb phase. Using symmetry arguments we derive the expression for the flexoelectric polarisation in twist-bend nematic phases. We show that, besides the standard contribution related to the spatial variation of the nematic director, two new contributions connected with the existence of the helical axis appear. In the ground state, where the nematic deformation is a pure heliconical deformation, the new contribution vanishes identically, and the total flexoelectric polarisation is perpendicular to the nematic director. Furthermore, as an example, we study the role of an external magnetic field applied parallel to the helical axis for a material with positive magnetic susceptibility anisotropy. We show that the field modifies the range of values of the coupling parameter between the director and the helical axis, thus shifting the interval of values for which this coupling results in the Ntb phase.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11583/2669732
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