Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Noel A. Clark

Second Advisor

Joseph E. Maclennan

Third Advisor

Matthew A. Glaser

Fourth Advisor

Leo Radzihovsky

Fifth Advisor

David M. Walba

Abstract

The nematic phases of liquid crystals have been the most thoroughly investigated since the founding of the liquid crystal field in the early 1900’s. The resulting technologies, most notably the liquid crystal display, have changed our world and spawned an entire industry. Consequently, the recent identification of a new type of nematic – the twist-bend nematic – was met with as much surprise as excitement, as it melds the fluid properties and environmental responsiveness of conventional nematics with the intrinsic polarization and complex ordering of bent-core liquid crystals. I summarize the history of the twist-bend nematic phase, charting the development of our understanding from its first identification to the present day. Furthermore, I enumerate and highlight my own efforts in the field to characterize the behavior and nanoscale organization of the twist-bend phase.

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