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Critical behaviour of the dielectric constant for the smectic AC* transition under the electric field in ferroelectric liquid crystals

The temperature dependencies of the dielectric constant and the tilt angle (order parameter) are calculated under the electric field for the smectic A-smectic C* (AC*) transition in 4-(3-methyl-2-chlorobutanoyloxy)-4'-heptyloxybiphenyl (A7). The dielectric constant is fitted to the experimental data by using our mean field model with the biquadratic coupling between the spontaneous polarisation P and the tilt angle theta. Our results show that the mean field model with the P-2 theta(2) coupling describes satisfactorily the observed behaviour of the AC* transition in A7. It is indicated here that a first-order AC* transition occurring at low electric fields changes its character towards a second order as the electric field increases in A7.