2020 Impact factor 1.890
Soft Matter and Biological Physics
Eur. Phys. J. E 9, 27-34 (2002)
DOI: 10.1140/epje/i2002-10058-4

Surface effects in thin films of antiferroelectric smectic liquid crystals in terms of the short-pitch long-pitch competition model

M. Gorkunov and S. Pikin

Institute of Crystallography Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninski prosp. 59, 117333 Moscow, Russia


(Received 23 May 2002 / Published online: 22 November 2002)

A theoretical model based on the competition between short-pitch and long-pitch types of helical order is developed for thin films of antiferroelectric smectic liquid crystals. In the case of the "bookshelf" structure of the film and non-polar surfaces, subsurface perturbations of the ordering are found out analytically. Corresponding contributions to the free energies of the different phases are analysed. The possibility of sufficient influence of the boundaries on phase sequences is predicted even in the case of weak surface anchoring. A consistent explanation of the controversial experimental information is given; further ways of experimental justification of the model assumptions are discussed.

64.70.Md - Transitions in liquid crystals.
68.60.-p - Physical properties of thin films, nonelectronic.
77.80.-e - Ferroelectricity and antiferroelectricity.

© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag 2002