Textural analysis of a mesophase with banana shaped molecules
Centre de Recherche Paul Pascal, CNRS, Université Bordeaux 1, Avenue Schweitzer, 33600, Pessac, France
2 Institute of Physical Optics, 23 vul. Dragomanova, 79005, Lviv, Ukraine
3 Laboratoire de Minéralogie-Cristallographie de Paris (UMR CNRS 7590), Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Case 115, 4 place Jussieu, 75252, Paris Cedex 05, France
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Observed under the polarizing microscope, the phase in the banana compound D14F3 [J.P. Bedel et al., Liq. Cryst. 27, 1411 (2000)] displays two types of textures of defects, namely (a): helical ribbons, that nucleate in large quantities when the samples are quenched from a sufficiently high temperature in the isotropic phase (b)- shapes with no helicity having the structure of developable domains much akin to those observed in columnar phases, either resulting from the annealing of the helical ribbons or nucleating under slow cooling processes. The existence of these two kinds of defects points toward the complex nature of the structure of the B7 phase, which is at the same time a columnar and a smectic phase. Our observations fit the model [M. Kleman, J. Phys. France 46, 1193 (1985)] according to which the geometry of a helical ribbon is that one of the central region of a screw dislocation with a giant Burgers vector, split into two helical disclination lines of strength k = 1/2 which bound the ribbon. Textures and defects, already partly documented, and growth features and annealing processes, not yet reported in the literature, are analyzed. We conclude that the helical ribbons and the developable domains with no helicity are textures of two different B7 states, namely a metastable state and the ground state respectively. Comparative textural analysis is performed for two other banana compounds exhibiting B2 phases.
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, and Springer-Verlag, 2003