Europhys. Lett.
Volume 63, Number 6, September 2003
Page(s) 840 - 845
Section Condensed matter: structure, mechanical and thermal properties
Published online 01 November 2003
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2003-00595-4
Europhys. Lett., 63 (6) , pp. 840-845 (2003)

Structural study of the liquid-crystal analog of the vortex liquid phase in type-II superconductors

C. Ybert1, L. Navailles1, B. Pansu2, F. Rieutord3, H. T. Nguyen1 and P. Barois1

1  Centre de recherche Paul-Pascal - Avenue A. Schweitzer, 33600 Pessac, France
2  Laboratoire de Physique des solides, Université Paris-Sud - 91405 Orsay Cedex, France
3  CEA-Département de Recherche Fondamentale sur la Matière Condensée 38054 Grenoble Cedex, France

(Received 13 February 2003; accepted in final form 2 July 2003)

We propose a high-resolution X-ray study of the twisted liquid crystalline phase appearing between the Twist Grain Boundary smectic A phase (TGB A) and the usual cholesteric liquid crystal N *. The structure of this new phase has been proposed as a liquid of screw dislocations in a smectic A matrix, analogous to the liquid of magnetic vortices found in type-II superconductors in between the ordered Abrikosov lattice and the normal conductor phase. Our data show that the smectic correlation length is consistent with the existence of dislocations, hence supporting the theory of Kamien and Lubensky.

61.30.Eb - Experimental determinations of smectic, nematic, cholesteric, and other structures.
61.10.-i - X-ray diffraction and scattering.

© EDP Sciences 2003