In JoVE (1)

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Articles by Senay Ustunel in JoVE

Other articles by Senay Ustunel on PubMed

Test of Halperin-Lubensky-Ma Crossover Function at the N-Sm-A Transition in Liquid Crystal Binary Mixtures Via High-resolution Birefringence Measurements

Physical Review. E. Jun, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27415333

We report optical birefringence data for a series of mixtures of the liquid crystals octylcyanobiphenyl (8CB) and decylcyanobiphenyl (10CB). Nematic order parameter S data in the nematic and smectic A phases have been derived from phase angle changes obtained in temperature scans with a rotating analyzer method. These S values have been used to arrive at values for possible entropy discontinuities at the smectic A to nematic phase transition temperature T_{NA}. The 10CB mole fraction dependence of the obtained entropy discontinuities could be well fitted with a crossover function consistent with the mean-field free-energy expression with a nonzero cubic term arising from the coupling between the smectic-A order parameter and the orientational order parameter director fluctuations in the Halperin-Lubensky-Ma theory. The obtained results are in good agreement with existing results from adiabatic scanning calorimetry. By exploiting the fact that the temperature derivative of the order parameter S(T) near T_{NA} exhibits the same power law divergence as the specific heat capacity, we have extracted the effective critical exponent α values for the compositions under study. The critical exponent α has been observed to reach the tricritical value α_{TCP}=0.5 for the 10CB mole fraction of x=0.330.

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