Volume 76, Number 2, October 2006
|Page(s)||243 - 249|
|Section||Condensed matter: structural, mechanical and thermal properties|
|Published online||22 September 2006|
Bistable anchoring of nematics on rough substrates
Fakultät für Physik, Universität Bielefeld - D-33615 Bielefeld, Germany
2 Department of Physics, University of Warwick - Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK
Accepted: 18 August 2006
We analyze the interplay between wetting and anchoring of nematic liquid crystals on disordering, e.g., rough substrates in the framework of the Landau-de Gennes theory, in situations of competing homeotropic and planar easy axes on the substrate and the nematic-isotropic (NI) interface. The phase diagram for azimuthally symmetric substrates is calculated. We identify two regimes —a strongly coupled regime, where the wetting transition coincides with an anchoring transition, and a weakly coupled regime, where the two are separated. The anchoring transition is first order and switches between homeotropic and planar anchoring. The two competing orientations are metastable over a broad parameter range. Hence such surfaces can be used to generate bistable surfaces.
PACS: 61.30.Dk – Continuum models and theories of liquid crystal structure / 61.30.Hn – Liquid crystals: Surface phenomena: alignment, anchoring, anchoring transitions, surface-induced layering, surface-induced ordering, wetting, prewetting transitions, and wetting transitions / 68.08.Bc – Wetting
© EDP Sciences, 2006
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