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New lactic acid derivatives have been prepared and studied and found that they form cholesteric phase with the helix pitch length in interval 120–200 nm within a broad temperature range. Due to the positive dielectric anisotropy and the short pitch, the applied electric field causes reversible optical changes in planar cell, in which the applied electric field reorients the long molecular axis. Presence of short pitch and possibility to effectively affect electro-optical properties aredoi:10.6084/m9.figshare.5418712 fatcat:bygkhncjibaybli5ygw7yccav4