The twist-bend nematic phase: translational self-diffusion and biaxiality studied by 1H nuclear magnetic resonance diffusometry

M. Cifelli, V. Domenici, S. V. Dvinskikh, G. R. Luckhurst, B. A. Timimi

Research output

14 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, there has been a surge of interest in mesogens exhibiting the twist-bend nematic (NTB) phase that is shown to be chiral even though formed by effectively achiral molecules. Although it now seems to be clear that the NTB phase in the bulk is formed by degenerate domains having opposite handedness, the presence of a supramolecular heliconical structure proposed in the Dozov model has been contradicted by the Hoffmann et al. model in which the heliconical arrangement is replaced by a polar nematic phase. The evidence in support of this is that the quadrupolar splitting tensor measured in various experiments is uniaxial and not biaxial as expected for the twist-bend nematic structure. In this debate, among other evidence, the molecular translational diffusion, and its magnitude with respect to that in the nematic phase above the NTB phase, has also been invoked to eliminate or to confirm one model or the other. We attempt to resolve this issue by reporting the first measurements of the translational self-diffusion coefficients in the nematic and twist-bend nematic phases formed 1″,7″-bis-4-(4′-cyanobiphenyl-4′-yl) heptane (CB7CB). Such measurements certainly appear to resolve the differences between the two models in favour of that for the classic twist-bend nematic phase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-218
Number of pages15
JournalLiquid Crystals
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2017

Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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