Physical Review E
The existence of the elusive biaxial phase has been the subject of much discussion since it was predicted by Freiser in 1970. More recently, there have been numerous attempts to find a thermotropic liquid crystal that exhibits a biaxial phase and with this, conflicting reports about whether such a phase has been positively identified in bent-core liquid crystals. One reason for the discrepancy is that there is currently no way to rule out surface effects or anchoring transitions, both of which may give a false positive identification of a uniaxial-biaxial nematic transition. We have developed a technique that uses a magnetic field to align the uniaxial director, thus widening its application to any bent-core nematic material.
Ostapenko, T.; Zhang, C.; Sprunt, Samuel N.; Jákli, Antal; and Gleeson, Jim T. (2011). Magneto-Optical Technique for Detecting the Biaxial Nematic Phase. Physical Review E 84(2). Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.kent.edu/cpippubs/52