Morphology and structure of thin liquid-crystalline films at nematic-isotropic transition
Department of Physics, University of Ljubljana, Jadranska 19, SI-1000, Ljubljana, Slovenia
2 J. Stefan Institute, Jamova 39, SI-1000, Ljubljana, Slovenia
We review the main features of very thin nematic liquid-crystalline films on solid substrates, focusing on 5CB on oxidized silicon wafers. By discussing the theoretical aspects of the observed structures, we show that the phenomena at work include isotropic capillary condensation and that the coexistence of isotropic and nematic terraces in thin films is a result of the interplay of several mechanisms. Further theoretical as well as experimental efforts are needed to completely understand the wetting behavior of these systems.
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, and Springer-Verlag, 2003