Induced Smectic Phases in Phase Diagrams of Binary Nematic Liquid Crystal Mixtures

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To elucidate induced smectic A and smectic B phases in binary nematic liquid crystal mixtures, a generalized thermodynamic model has been developed in the framework of a combined Flory-Huggins free energy for isotropic mixing, Maier-Saupe free energy for orientational ordering, McMillan free energy for smectic ordering, Chandrasekhar-Clark free energy for hexagonal ordering, and phase field free energy for crystal solidification. Although nematic constituents have no smectic phase, the complexation between these constituent liquid crystal molecules in their mixture resulted in a more stable ordered phase such as smectic A or B phases. Various phase transitions of crystal-smectic, smectic-nematic, and nematic-isotropic phases have been determined by minimizing the above combined free energies with respect to each order parameter of these mesophases. By changing the strengths of anisotropic interaction and hexagonal interaction parameters, the present model captures the induced smectic A or smectic B phases of the binary nematic mixtures. Of particular importance is the fact that the calculated phase diagrams show remarkable agreement with the experimental phase diagrams of binary nematic liquid crystal mixtures involving induced smectic A or induced smectic B phase. © 2011 American Institute of Physics.

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