Date of this Version
Physical Review E 82, 031702 (2010)
We present spectroscopic and optical studies of a non-layer-shrinkage ferroelectric liquid crystal DSiKN65. The orientational order parameters S, measured with respect to the smectic layer normal using IR spectroscopy on a sample aligned homeotropically, does not exhibit any significant variation between the smectic-A* and smectic-C* phases. In contrast the birefringence of a planar homogenous sample abruptly increases at the smectic-A* to smectic-C* transition. This suggests a general increase in the orientational order, which can be described by the orientational order parameters S' defined with respect to the director. Simultaneous increase of S' and the director tilt θ may explain the low shrinkage of smectic layers, which is consistent with recent theoretical models describing the smectic-A* to smectic-C* transition for such materials.