The replacement of a highly fluorinated tail group for one or both of the hydrocarbon tails in thermotropic liquid crystal systems has a dramatic effect on mesomorphic behavior and other physical properties. The nematic phase is greatly suppressed, often totally lost, in all systems that have been examined. A large enhancement of the smectic behavior is usually observed. The preferred phases are (chiral) smectic A and C for systems which incorporate a partially, but highly fluorinated, tail. This creation of smectic C behavior has made these fluorinated materials interesting for use in ferroelectric liquid crystal devices. Fluorination, it is well known, alters certain physical properties of organic compounds. For example, chemical and thermal stability, lower viscosity, and lower birefringence being realized.