Proceedings PaperElectro-optical properties and possible applications of bent-core liquid crystals
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We review electro-optical properties and discuss possible applications of bent-core liquid crystals. There are three different electro-optical switching modes in the polar tilted smectic (SmCP) phase, relying on chirality, birefringence and induced biaxiality. During switching from transparent to scattering state a racemic antiferroelectric structure is driven to a ferroelectric state, whereas while switching from a transparent to a racemic state a chiral antiferroelectric state is driven to a ferroelectric one. Importantly the racemic and chiral states can be interchanged after applying electric fields with proper waveforms. The anticlinic (racemic ferroelectric and chiral antiferroelectric) states have low birefringence (in certain anticlinic states it can even be zero) whereas the synclinic (racemic antiferroeectric and chiral ferroelectric) states have large birefringences, which offers switching between optically isotropic and birefringent states. This type of switching can also be achieved in samples with vertical alignment and in plane electrodes. This latter effect is a field induced polar or dielectric switching between uniaxial and biaxial smectic structures.