Zig-zag instability of an Ising wall in liquid crystals
Institut Non Linéaire de Nice, UMR 6618 CNRS-UNSA
1361 Route des Lucioles, F-06560 Valbonne, France
Accepted: 14 March 2002
We present a theoretical explanation for the interfacial zig-zag instability that appears in anisotropic systems. Such an instability has been experimentally highlighted for an Ising wall formed in a nematic liquid crystal cell under homeotropic anchoring conditions. From an envelope equation, relevant close to the Fréedericksz transition, we have derived an asymptotic equation describing the interface dynamics in the vicinity of its bifurcation. The asymptotic limit used accounts for a strong difference between two of the elastic constants. The model is characterized by a conservative order parameter which satisfies a Cahn-Hilliard equation. It provides a good qualitative understanding of the experiments.
PACS: 47.20.Ma – Interfacial instability / 61.30.Gd – Orientational order of liquid crystals; electric and magnetic field effects on order / 47.20.Ky – Nonlinearity (including bifurcation theory)
© EDP Sciences, 2002