Self-supporting bubbles of thermotropic smectic liquid crystals
Universität Leipzig, Fakultät für Physik und
Linnéstr. 5, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany
Accepted: 12 February 1998
We demonstrate that thin films of thermotropic smectic liquid crystals can be inflated by external pressure to form bubbles similar to lyotropic soap bubbles. These bubbles can be generated with film thickness of a few molecular layers and radii of several centimeters; they are perfectly suited for studies of static and dynamic properties of the smectic material. We report the measurement of surface tension, describe the dynamics of holes and islands on the bubble surface, and discuss influences of external electric fields in non-ferroelectric and ferroelectric smectic bubbles.
PACS: 61.30.-v – Liquid crystals / 68.15.+e – Liquid thin films
© EDP Sciences, 1998