This book presents the basic physics of ferroelectric and antiferroelectric liquid crystals in a simple and transparent way. It treats both the basic and the applied aspects of ferroelectric and antiferroelectric liquid crystal research, starting from the discovery of ferroelectricity in liquid crystals in 1975 and ending with the resonant X-ray experiment in ferrielectric and antiferrielectric phases in 1998. Particular attention is paid to the optical properties, electrooptic effects, phase transitions and experimental methods used in liquid crystal research. Special chapters are devoted to dielectric spectroscopy, light scattering, NMR, STM and AFM in complex fluids. The more than 300 illustrations help to present the basic physics of liquid crystalline ferroelectrics and antiferroelectrics in a way that can be easily followed by students, engineers and scientists dealing with liquid crystal research.
Symmetry and ferroelectricity in liquid crystals; incommensurate liquid crystals; the classical Landau model of ferroelectric liquid crystals; ferroelectric liquid crystals in external electric and magnetic fields; the generalized Landau model and the behaviour in external fields - dipolar and quadrupolar order in ferroelectric liquid crystals; thermodynamic properties of ferroelectric liquid crystals; light propagation in ferroelectric liquid crystals; the dynamics of ferroelectric liquid crystals; local ordering in ferroelectric liquid crystals; microscopic theory of ferroelectric liquid crystals; classes of ferroelectric liquid crystals, ferroelectricity in mixtures; free standing Sm C* films; polymeric liquid crystalline ferroelectrics and liquid crystal glasses; the possibility of ferroelectric ordering in Lyotropic liquid crystals and living tissues; optical bistability and switching in surface stabilized (SS) ferroelectric liquid crystals; the soft mode in the Sm A* phase and the electroclinic effect; the field distorted helix; anti-ferroelectric liquid crystals - structure, theoretical, model, dielectric properties, tristable switching, potential applications; ferroelectric liquid crystal devices; non-linear optics of liquid crystals.