Soft crystal martensites: An in situ resonant soft x-ray scattering study of a liquid crystal martensitic transformation

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Science Advances  27 Mar 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 13, eaay5986
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aay5986


Liquid crystal blue phases (BPs) are three-dimensional soft crystals with unit cell sizes orders of magnitude larger than those of classic, atomic crystals. The directed self-assembly of BPs on chemically patterned surfaces uniquely enables detailed in situ resonant soft x-ray scattering measurements of martensitic phase transformations in these systems. The formation of twin lamellae is explicitly identified during the BPII-to-BPI transformation, further corroborating the martensitic nature of this transformation and broadening the analogy between soft and atomic crystal diffusionless phase transformations to include their strain-release mechanisms.

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