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Symmetry 2014, 6(2), 444-472; doi:10.3390/sym6020444
Review

Chiral Liquid Crystals: Structures, Phases, Effects

Received: 12 April 2014 / Revised: 5 June 2014 / Accepted: 10 June 2014 / Published: 16 June 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supramolecular Chirality)

Abstract

The introduction of chirality, i.e., the lack of mirror symmetry, has a profound effect on liquid crystals, not only on the molecular scale but also on the supermolecular scale and phase. I review these effects, which are related to the formation of supermolecular helicity, the occurrence of novel thermodynamic phases, as well as electro-optic effects which can only be observed in chiral liquid crystalline materials. In particular, I will discuss the formation of helical superstructures in cholesteric, Twist Grain Boundary and ferroelectric phases. As examples for the occurrence of novel phases the Blue Phases and Twist Grain Boundary phases are introduced. Chirality related effects are demonstrated through the occurrence of ferroelectricity in both thermotropic as well as lyotropic liquid crystals. Lack of mirror symmetry is also discussed briefly for some biopolymers such as cellulose and DNA, together with its influence on liquid crystalline behavior.
Keywords: liquid crystal; chirality; helicity; Blue Phases; Twist Grain Boundary phases; ferroelectricity; biological materials liquid crystal; chirality; helicity; Blue Phases; Twist Grain Boundary phases; ferroelectricity; biological materials
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Dierking, I. Chiral Liquid Crystals: Structures, Phases, Effects. Symmetry 2014, 6, 444-472.

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