Europhys. Lett.
Volume 67, Number 3, August 2004
Page(s) 411 - 417
Section Condensed matter: structure, mechanical and thermal properties
Published online 01 July 2004
Europhys. Lett., 67 (3), pp. 411-417 (2004)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2004-10078-8

Influence of director fluctuations on the electric-field phase diagrams of nematic liquid crystals

Surajit Dhara and N. V. Madhusudana

Raman Research Institute - C.V. Raman Avenue, Bangalore 560 080, India

(Received 5 January 2004; accepted in final form 24 May 2004)

We report the first experimental high-electric-field phase diagram of a nematic liquid crystal with negative dielectric anisotropy. The variation of the paranematic-nematic transition temperature $(T_{\ab{PN}})$ is essentially linear with |E|, whereas the Landau-de Gennes theory predicts a quadratic variation. It is argued that the quenching of director fluctuations by the field contributes significantly to the thermodynamics of the transition.

64.70.Md - Transitions in liquid crystals.
61.30.Gd - Orientational order of liquid crystals; electric and magnetic field effects on order.
61.30.Dk - Continuum models and theories of liquid crystal structure.

© EDP Sciences 2004