Ferroelectric Colloids in Liquid Crystals
For many years the science of liquid crystals mostly served the needs of liquid crystal display (LCD) industry; vast majority of funds and human resources were directed to development of numerous LCD modes in nematic liquid crystals (LCs). It was the needs of LCD industry that initiated rapid development of surface LC science, deep studies of correlation between the molecular structures and macroscopic properties of nematic LCs. Studies of more complicated LCs phases and composite LC materials to a large extent have also been initiated by numerous attempts to propose competitive alternative to the traditional nematic LCDs (e.g. PDLCs, bistable LCDs, ferroelectric LCDs). By the beginning of the last decade, the LCD industry has reached such a high level that its further progress has become determined mainly by development of the technology of non-LC components (for example, by fabrication of gigantic high-quality glass substrates for the last generation LCDs). This initiated some kind of rebooting of the scientific and mercantile interests of the LC scientific community. There are many sectors of hi-tech industry where LCs have great potentials, such as biotech, telecommunication, and optical processing. The new applications require new materials, sometimes with rather exotic properties, and new technologies. For example, ...