Novel twist grain boundary smectic-C phases
Several new kinds of smectic-C twist grain boundary phases (TGBC) have been observed during the last few years. These pure compounds or mixtures exhibit unusual textures with polygonal lattices (square or hexagonal grids) in the plane normal to the TGB helix. The structure of these new phases seems to be complex and different from reported and predicted TGBC phases. In this article, we review the main results obtained on these different new phases, and we propose new TGBC structures based on the well-known splayed polarization --twisted director structures adopted by chiral smectic-C's in planar aligned (bookshelf) cells. The observed square or hexagonal lattices are made of superimposed pairs of unwinding lines due to the suppression of the helix within smectic-C blocks by the grain boundaries (unwinding walls). A lattice-free TGBC occurs if the helix within smectic-C blocks is suppressed completely.
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