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Electric field-induced layer deformations in the subphases of an antiferroelectric liquid crystal device

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The layer structure in the antiferroelectric, ferrielectric, and ferroelectric phases of a liquid crystal device is reported, together with its electric field-induced deformation. The field-free chevron angle is comparable to the steric tilt angle, but differs significantly from the optical tilt angle. A sharp field threshold is observed for the chevron to bookshelf transition in the antiferroelectric phase at 1.3 V/μm, while layer deformations occur at much lower fields (0.3 V/μm) in the other subphases. Models are proposed for the layer deformations.

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