Published in Physical Review Letters, Volume 85, Issue 20, November 13, 2000, pages 4309-4312.
Copyright © 2000 American Physical Society. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Physical Society. The following article appeared in Physical Review Letters and may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.85.4309.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Karl Saunders was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
We show that discotics, lying deep in the columnar phase, can exhibit an x-ray scattering pattern which mimics that of a somewhat unusual smectic liquid crystal. This exotic, new glassy phase of columnar liquid crystals, which we call a “hybrid columnar Bragg glass,” can be achieved by confining a columnar liquid crystal in an anisotropic random environment of, e.g., strained aerogel. Long-ranged orientational order in this phase makes single-domain x-ray scattering possible, from which a wealth of information could be extracted. We give detailed quantitative predictions for the scattering pattern in addition to exponents characterizing anomalous elasticity of the system.