Published: Jan. 19, 2007
Main image from Hough et al. 2007 PRL

Loren E. Hough, Chenhui Zhu, Michi Nakata, Nattaporn Chattham, Gert Dantlgraber, Carsten Tschierske, and Noel A. Clark (2007). Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 037802. DOI:

Large optical activity has recently been observed in chiral smectic liquid crystalline phases formed from achiral bent-core molecules. The origin of the optical activity remains unclear and has been attributed to both a helical superstructure and the layer chirality produced by simultaneous tilt and polar ordering of bent-core mesogens in the B2 phase. Here, we directly demonstrate that layer chirality produces optical activity in the well ordered SmCAPA subphase.