Volume 88, Number 4, November 2009
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Condensed Matter: Structural, Mechanical and Thermal Properties|
|Published online||02 December 2009|
Experimental study of prewetting transitions by systematic variation of the surface field at nematic liquid crystal/water interfaces
Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization - Bunsenstr. 10, D-37073 Göttingen, Germany, EU
Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 6 November 2009
An ellipsometric study of the interface between a nematic liquid crystal and water in the presence of a nonionic surfactant is presented. The surfactant induces a nematic wetting layer at temperatures above the bulk nematic-isotropic transition and the surfactant concentration serves as a handle to tune the strength of the ordering surface field. At low surfactant concentrations, a discontinuous jump in the thickness of the nematic wetting layer is observed at a temperature a few tenth of one centigrade above the bulk nematic-isotropic transition. With increasing surfactant concentration, this prewetting transition is driven towards a critical point.
PACS: 61.30.-v – Liquid crystals / 61.30.Hn – Surface phenomena: alignment, anchoring, anchoring transitions, surface-induced layering, surface-induced ordering, wetting, prewetting transitions, and wetting transitions / 68.05.Cf – Liquid-liquid interface structure: measurements and simulations
© EPLA, 2009
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