from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Of or relating to the mesomorphic phase of a liquid crystal in which molecules are closely aligned in a distinct series of layers, with the axes of the molecules lying perpendicular to the plane of the layers.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. Describing a class of liquid crystals whose molecules are aligned in layers, with the molecules lying perpendicular to the plane of the layers
- n. Such a liquid crystal
Other phases are termed "smectic" (i.e. soap-like), where the molecules can also flow, but only in two dimensions, in parallel layers.
Pierre-Gilles de Gennes developed the theory for the behavior of liquid crystals and their transitions between different ordered phases (nematic, smectic, etc).
Stress-strain results are reported for two series of smectic C main chain liquid crystalline elastomers
The findings, which appear in the scientific journal Physical Review E, detail how Cheng and his colleagues were able to orient the disc-shaped molecules of liquid crystals into distinct and separate layers - a phenomenon labeled by scientists as a "smectic phase."
"Before this, no discotic smectic phase was known to exist," Cheng said.
Some recent experiments in Washington have focussed on the actuation of smectic elastomers with an electric field.
The project will model deformation smectic elastomers using numerical techniques, and their actuation using electric fields.