The main recent achievement is the discovery of a new liquid crystalline phase, the splay nematic phase. The phase, which is biaxial and ferroelectric, can be found in materials made of polar wedge-shaped molecules. The described phase represents a major step forward the realisation of an often-speculated polar nematic phase, which could lead to materials with optical and electrical behaviors desired for a wide range of applications. Images show new defects in the splay nematic (Ns) phase that indicate a lower symmetry that in the nematic phase. We observe that splay elastic constant goes towards zero at the transition from the nematic to splay nematic phase.
Different LC phases are also studied and their possible use for applications. Examples include tunable diffractive structures from LCs and polymers fabricated by holographic lithography methods, micropatterned polymer-LC structures based on scaffolds fabricated by direct laser writing technique, mechanically stretchable optical diffractive structures from LC elastomers and polymer-LC Q-plate that is used for transformation of Gaussian laser beams into polarisation vortex beams.
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MANDLE, Richard J., MERTELJ, Alenka. Orientational order in the splay nematic ground state. PCCP. Physical chemistry chemical physics : a journal of European chemical societies, ISSN 1463-9076, 2019, vol. 21, issue 34, str. 18769-18772, doi: 10.1039/C9CP03581H.
FLEISCH, Mathias, GAO, Shaohua, BOŠNJAKOVIĆ, Dejan, ZHANG, Xinzheng, RUPP, Romano Anton, DREVENŠEK OLENIK, Irena. Laser-written polymeric scaffolds for micro-patterned liquid crystal alignment. Liquid crystals, ISSN 0267-8292, 2019, 10 str., ilustr., doi: 10.1080/02678292.2019.1631970.
GAO, Shaohua, ZHAI, Yanzi, ZHANG, Xinzheng, SONG, Xiao, WANG, Jiayi, DREVENŠEK OLENIK, Irena, RUPP, Romano Anton, XU, Jingjun. Coupling of defect modes in cholesteric liquid crystals separated by isotropic polymeric layers. Polymers, ISSN 2073-4360, 2018, vol. 10, art. no. 805, 9 str., ilustr., doi: 10.3390/polym10070805.
BOŠNJAKOVIĆ, Dejan, GREGORC, Marko, LI, Hui, ČOPIČ, Martin, DOMENICI, Valentina, DREVENŠEK OLENIK, Irena. Mechanical manipulation of diffractive properties of optical holographic gratings from liquid crystalline elastomers. Applied sciences, ISSN 2076-3417, Aug. 2018, vol. 8, art. no. 1330, 13 str., ilustr., doi: 10.3390/app8081330.
BLAICKNER, M., …, DREVENŠEK OLENIK, Irena, LIČEN, Matjaž, et al. Monte-Carlo simulation of neutron transmission through nanocomposite materials for neutron-optics applications. Nuclear instruments and methods in physics research. Section A, Accelerators, spectrometers, detectors and associated equipment, ISSN 0168-9002. [Print ed.], 2019, vol. 916, str. 154-157, ilustr., doi: 10.1016/j.nima.2018.11.074.
ARKO, Matej, PETELIN, Andrej. Cross-differential dynamic microscopy. Soft matter, ISSN 1744-683X, 2019, vol. 15, no. 13, str. 2791-2797, doi: 10.1039/C9SM00121B.