Ferroelectricity in fluid materials, which allows free rotation of molecules, is an unusual phenomenon raising cutting-edge questions in science. Conventional ferroelectric liquid crystals have been found in phases with low symmetry that permit the presence of spontaneous polarization. Recently, the discovery of ferroelectricity with high symmetry in the nematic phase has attracted considerable attention. However, the physical mechanism and molecular origin of ferroelectricity are poorly understood and a large domain of macroscopically oriented spontaneous polarization is difficult to fabricate in the ferroelectric nematic phase. This study reports new fluid layered ferroelectrics with the C∞v symmetry in which nearly complete orientation of the spontaneous polarization remains stable under zero electric field without any orientation treatment. These ferroelectrics are obtained by simplifying the molecular structure of a compound with a known ferroelectric nematic phase, although the simplification reduced the dipole moment. The results provide useful insights into the mechanism of ferroelectricity due to dipole–dipole interactions in molecular assemblies. The new ferroelectric materials are promising for a wide range of applications as soft ferroelectrics.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- General Chemical Engineering
- General Materials Science
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
- General Engineering
- General Physics and Astronomy