Ferroelectric liquid crystals
The origin of ferroelectricity in liquid crystals and the basic physical properties of the systems are briefly discussed. Special attention is paid to elementary excitations in ferroelectric liquid crystals, i.e. the symmetry recovering Goldstone mode, the amplitudon mode and the symmetry‐breaking soft mode. The phase diagram of ferroelectric liquid crystals in magnetic and electric fields is presented and the field‐induced Lifshitz point is discussed. The difference in the soliton structure in electric and magnetic fields is presented. The properties of freely suspended smectic thin films are shown as a function of the number of smectic layers involved. This represents an example of the cross‐over from the 3D to 2D universality class.
Keywords: couplings, ferroelectricity in liquid crystals, symmetry requirements, excitations, ferroelectric liquid crystals, magnetic‐field‐induced Lifshitz point, electric‐field‐induced Lifshitz point, soliton structures, ferroelectric smectic thin films
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