Europhys. Lett.
Volume 67, Number 3, August 2004
Page(s) 464 - 469
Section Condensed matter: electronic structure, electrical, magnetic, and optical properties
Published online 01 July 2004
Europhys. Lett., 67 (3), pp. 464-469 (2004)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2004-10071-3

Fractal scaling of surface degradation patterns formed by dielectric breakdown of liquid-crystal Hele-Shaw cells

I. Dierking

Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Manchester Schuster Laboratory - Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK

(Received 22 January 2004; accepted in final form 17 May 2004)

Dielectric breakdown patterns of liquid-crystal Hele-Shaw cells have been investigated with respect to their fractal dimension in relation to the breakdown conditions. The patterns observed are related to surface degradation in the plane of the electrodes and are identical on both substrates. Data from a number of investigation series varying boundary conditions, electrode spacing, electric field conditions, frequency and temperature, suggest that the fractal dimension of the degradation pattern scales linearly with the breakdown voltage, not the electric breakdown field.

77.84.Nh - Liquids, emulsions, and suspensions; liquid crystals.
77.22.Jp - Dielectric breakdown and space-charge effects.
47.53.+n - Fractals.

© EDP Sciences 2004