Energetics of 2D colloids in free-standing smectic-C films
Institute of Experimental Physics, Nonlinear Phenomena, Universitätsplatz 2, D-39016, Magdeburg, Germany
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Accepted: 29 June 2006
Published online: 21 July 2006
The formation of regular colloid patterns in free-standing smectic films at the transition from the smectic-C to the isotropic or nematic phase is well known experimentally. The self-organization of isotropic or nematic droplets is caused by their mutual interaction, mediated by elastic distortions of the local director in the surrounding liquid crystal. These distortions are related to the anchoring conditions of the director at the droplet border. We describe analytically the energetics of the liquid crystal environment of a single droplet in one-constant approximation. A method of complex analysis, Conformal Mapping, is employed. Following a suggestion of Dolganov et al. (Phys. Rev. E. 73, 041706 (2006)), energetics of chain and grid patterns built from the colloids are investigated numerically in order to explain experimentally observed formations and their director fields.
PACS: 61.30.Dk Continuum models and theories of liquid crystal structure – / 61.30.Jf Defects in liquid crystals – / 61.30.Hn Surface phenomena: alignment, anchoring, anchoring transitions, surface-induced layering, surface-induced ordering, wetting, prewetting transitions, and wetting transitions –
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag, 2006