Smectic-glass transition in a liquid-crystal cell with a “dirty” substrate
Department of Physics, University of Colorado - Boulder, CO 80309, USA
Accepted: 14 May 2012
We explore the smectic liquid-crystal order in a cell with a “dirty” substrate imposing random pinnings. Within harmonic elasticity we find a subtle three-dimensional surface disorder-driven transition into a pinned smectic glass, controlled by a three-dimensional Cardy-Ostlund–like fixed line, akin to a super-rough phase of a two-dimensional xy model. We compute the associated random substrate-driven distortions of the smectic-glass state, identify the characteristic length scales on the heterogeneous substrate and in the bulk, and discuss a variety of experimental signatures.
PACS: 64.70.pp – Liquid crystals / 61.30.Hn – Surface phenomena: alignment, anchoring, anchoring transitions, surface-induced layering, surface-induced ordering, wetting, prewetting transitions, and wetting transitions / 64.60.ae – Renormalization-group theory
© EPLA, 2012