Volume 61, Number 5, March 2003
|Page(s)||646 - 652|
|Section||Condensed matter: structure, mechanical and thermal properties|
|Published online||01 February 2003|
Novel surface-induced modulated texture in thick nematic samples
Laboratoire de Physique de la Matière Condensée, Université de Picardie 33 rue Saint-Leu, 80039 Amiens, France
2 Dipartimento di Fisica del Politecnico e INFM Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Torino, Italy
Accepted: 16 December 2002
A novel macroscopic stripe texture has been observed in thick homeotropic nematic cells by polarizing microscopy. The stripes involve a splay-bend deformation of the nematic director. They are stable in a temperature range of about 2 and are localized at the nematic-substrate interface. The observed phenomena are explained, within a phenomenological model, as a result of linear terms of the deformation tensor entering the interfacial-layer free energy. When the surface elastic constants are strong enough, the modulated texture can occur if the anchoring energy is lower than a critical value of .
PACS: 61.30.Hn – Surface phenomena: alignment, anchoring, anchoring transitions, surface-induced layering, surface-induced ordering, wetting, prewetting transitions, and wetting transitions / 68.08.-p – Liquid-solid interfaces / 75.70.Kw – Domain structure (including magnetic bubbles)
© EDP Sciences, 2003
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