Rich polymorphism of a rod-like liquid crystal (8CB) confined in two types of unidirectional nanopores
We present a neutron and X-rays scattering study of the phase transitions of 4-n-octyl-4' -cyanobiphenyl (8CB) confined in unidirectional nanopores of porous alumina and porous silicon (PSi) membranes with an average diameter of 30nm. Spatial confinement reveals a rich polymorphism, with at least four different low temperature phases in addition to the smectic A phase. The structural study as a function of thermal treatments and conditions of spatial confinement allows us to get insights into the formation of these phases and their relative stability. It gives the first description of the complete phase behavior of 8CB confined in PSi and provides a direct comparison with results obtained in bulk conditions and in similar geometric conditions of confinement but with reduced quenched disorder effects using alumina anopore membranes.