Elastic Properties and Phases of Bent Core Liquid Crystal

  • Harry Liu

Student thesis: Phd


The recent interest in bent core liquid crystal has shown many unique physical properties, such the anomalous behaviour of the elastic constants (SplayK1, Twist K2, and BendK3). In bent core liquid crystals it is observed that K3K1). Such behaviour is analogous to calamitic liquid crystals but is in contrast to all other bent-core nematic materials reported to date. Such a result questions some of the current explanations for the elastic behaviour of bent-core materials. Using molecular field theory and atomistic modelling the different elastic behaviour predicted is again in excellent agreement with experimental results. The bend angle is again shown to be an important part in determining the physical properties of bent-core nematic liquid crystals.In a mixture from an oxadiazole dopant and calamitic host liquid crystal, it was found that a filament structure appears in the nematic phase. The filaments appear to interfere with the measurements for elastic constants. In order to understand the filament structure many methods were used including SAXS, dielectric permittivity, and DSC. It was found that the mixture had formed a gel - like phase. The gel is composed of a liquid crystal network and a liquid crystal background, not seen before in any gel system. Due to the liquid crystalline properties both the network and the background can be aligned and manipulated. The new gel phase can possess many new unique properties which warrant further studies understand further into how fundamentally the phase is forming.
Date of Award31 Dec 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorHelen Gleeson (Supervisor)


  • liquid crystal, nematic, elastic, flexoelectricity, bent core, gel, double liquid crystal gel

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