Multiple ordering transitions in a chiral liquid

Pierre Ronceray 1, 2 Peter Harrowell 3

Physical Review Letters, American Physical Society, 2014, 112, pp.017801

We present here a numerical study of a lattice model of a chiral liquid. The low symmetry of the favoured local structure depresses the freezing point to reveal an exotic liquid-liquid transition characterised by the appearance of an extended chirality,prior to freezing. What mechanisms impede crystallisation in liquids with low molecular symmetry ? The ordered liquid can be readily supercooled to zero temperature, as the combination of critical slowing down and competing crystal polymorphs results in a dramatically slow crystallisation process.

  • 1. LPTMS - Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques
  • 2. ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris
  • 3. Faculty of Sciences