A lyotropic analogue of the ferroelectric smectic C* phase has been found. The lyotropic smectic C* phase shows macroscopic chirality effects, such as a helical ground state and polarity-dependent electrooptic switching, thus indicating the presence of a spontaneous electric polarization. The helicity implies communication of the chiral director twist across the achiral solvent layers separating adjacent layers of the chiral mesogens.
Johanna R. Bruckner, Jan H. Porada, Clarissa F. Dietrich, Ingo Dierking and Frank Giesselmann
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 52, 8934-8937 (2013). DOI: 10.1002/anie.201303344