(University of Colorado–Boulder)
Research Project Description.
Preliminary studies of the highly polar organic molecule DIO revealed a mysterious liquid crystal phase between the nematic and ferroelectric nematic phases. X-ray diffraction studies showed that this phase—dubbed the M2 phase—was both layered and highly tilted, suggesting the possibility of a new smectic phase. We report on studies of freely suspended films of this material in the M2 phase using reflected ligh microscopy and a variety of light polarizations to characterize its structure.