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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Photonic Bandgap in Achiral Liquid Crystals—A Twist on a Twist


Achiral mesogenic molecules are shown to be able to spontaneously assemble into liquid crystalline smectic phases having either simple or double-helical structures. At the transition between these phases, the double-helical structure unwinds. As a consequence, in some temperature range, the pitch of the helix becomes comparable to the wavelength of visible light and the selective reflection of light in the visible range is observed. The photonic bandgap phenomenon is reported for achiral liquid crystals.

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