Nucleation-induced undulative instability in thin films of nCB liquid crystals
Department of Applied Physics, Ulm University - D-89069 Ulm,
Accepted: 23 November 2001
A surface instability is reported in thin nematic films of 5CB and 8CB, occurring near the nematic-isotropic phase transition. Although this instability leads to patterns which are reminiscent of spinodal dewetting (and have been interpreted as such), we show that it is actually based on a nucleation mechanism. Its characteristic wavelength does not depend markedly on film thickness, but strongly on the heating rate.
PACS: 64.70.Md – Transitions in liquid crystals / 68.60.-p – Physical properties of thin films, nonelectronic / 61.30.Pq – Microconfined liquid crystals: droplets, cylinders, randomly confined liquid crystals, polymer dispersed liquid crystals, and porous systems
© EDP Sciences, 2002