Generalized liquid crystals: Giant fluctuations and the vestigial chiral order of $I$ , $O$ , and $T$ matter
Here, the physics of nematic liquid crystals has been the subject of intensive research since the late 19th century. However, the focus of this pursuit has been centered around uniaxial and biaxial nematics associated with constituents bearing a D _{∞h} or D _{2h} symmetry, respectively. In view of general symmetries, however, these are singularly special since nematic order can in principle involve any pointgroup symmetry. Given the progress in tailoring nanoparticles with particular shapes and interactions, this vast family of “generalized nematics” might become accessible in the laboratory. Little is known because the order parameter theories associated with the highly symmetric point groups are remarkably complicated, involving tensor order parameters of high rank. Here, we show that the generic features of the statistical physics of such systems can be studied in a highly flexible and efficient fashion using a mathematical tool borrowed from highenergy physics: discrete nonAbelian gauge theory. Explicitly, we construct a family of lattice gauge models encapsulating nematic ordering of general threedimensional pointgroup symmetries. We find that the most symmetrical generalized nematics are subjected to thermal fluctuations of unprecedented severity. As a result, novel forms of fluctuation phenomena become possible. In particular, we demonstrate that a vestigial phasemore »
 Authors:

^{[1]};
^{[1]};
^{[1]};
^{[2]};
^{[1]}
 Univ. Leiden (The Netherlands)
 SLAC National Accelerator Lab. and Stanford Univ., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
 Publication Date:
 Grant/Contract Number:
 AC0276SF00515
 Type:
 Published Article
 Journal Name:
 Physical Review. X
 Additional Journal Information:
 Journal Volume: 6; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 21603308
 Publisher:
 American Physical Society
 Research Org:
 SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
 Sponsoring Org:
 USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC22)
 Country of Publication:
 United States
 Language:
 English
 Subject:
 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE
 OSTI Identifier:
 1330482
 Alternate Identifier(s):
 OSTI ID: 1348937
Liu, Ke, Nissinen, Jaakko, Slager, Robert Jan, Wu, Kai, and Zaanen, Jan. Generalized liquid crystals: Giant fluctuations and the vestigial chiral order of I , O , and T matter. United States: N. p.,
Web. doi:10.1103/PhysRevX.6.041025.
Liu, Ke, Nissinen, Jaakko, Slager, Robert Jan, Wu, Kai, & Zaanen, Jan. Generalized liquid crystals: Giant fluctuations and the vestigial chiral order of I , O , and T matter. United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevX.6.041025.
Liu, Ke, Nissinen, Jaakko, Slager, Robert Jan, Wu, Kai, and Zaanen, Jan. 2016.
"Generalized liquid crystals: Giant fluctuations and the vestigial chiral order of I , O , and T matter". United States.
doi:10.1103/PhysRevX.6.041025.
@article{osti_1330482,
title = {Generalized liquid crystals: Giant fluctuations and the vestigial chiral order of I , O , and T matter},
author = {Liu, Ke and Nissinen, Jaakko and Slager, Robert Jan and Wu, Kai and Zaanen, Jan},
abstractNote = {Here, the physics of nematic liquid crystals has been the subject of intensive research since the late 19th century. However, the focus of this pursuit has been centered around uniaxial and biaxial nematics associated with constituents bearing a D∞h or D2h symmetry, respectively. In view of general symmetries, however, these are singularly special since nematic order can in principle involve any pointgroup symmetry. Given the progress in tailoring nanoparticles with particular shapes and interactions, this vast family of “generalized nematics” might become accessible in the laboratory. Little is known because the order parameter theories associated with the highly symmetric point groups are remarkably complicated, involving tensor order parameters of high rank. Here, we show that the generic features of the statistical physics of such systems can be studied in a highly flexible and efficient fashion using a mathematical tool borrowed from highenergy physics: discrete nonAbelian gauge theory. Explicitly, we construct a family of lattice gauge models encapsulating nematic ordering of general threedimensional pointgroup symmetries. We find that the most symmetrical generalized nematics are subjected to thermal fluctuations of unprecedented severity. As a result, novel forms of fluctuation phenomena become possible. In particular, we demonstrate that a vestigial phase carrying no more than chiral order becomes ubiquitous departing from high pointgroup symmetry chiral building blocks, such as I, O, and T symmetric matter.},
doi = {10.1103/PhysRevX.6.041025},
journal = {Physical Review. X},
number = 4,
volume = 6,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {10}
}