Publication Title

Physical Review Letters

Publication Date

11-16-2006

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1103/PhysRevLett.97.207802

Disciplines

Physics

Abstract

Dynamic light scattering from orientational order fluctuations in a liquid crystalline tetrapode reveals successive, weakly first-order isotropic to uniaxial and uniaxial to biaxial nematic phase transitions. The order parameter relaxation rates exhibit temperature dependences consistent with Landau–de Gennes mean field theory. Combined with previous evidence of a second-order uniaxial-biaxial transition in a closely related tetrapode, the present study supports the existence of a nematic-nematic tricritical point in thermotropic liquid crystals.

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