Temperature dependence of the effective anchoring energy for a nematic-ferroelectric interface
L.V. Kirensky Institute of Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, 660036, Krasnoyarsk, Russia
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Accepted: 22 August 2006
Published online: 5 September 2006
Specific features of the anisotropic interaction between a nematic mixture and a polar surface of a ferroelectric triglycine sulfate crystal have been studied over a wide temperature range including the substrate's Curie point Tc. The mixture was composed of two nematic liquid crystals, 60% of p-methoxybenzylidene-p-n-butylaniline (MBBA) and 40% of p-ethoxybenzylidene-p-n-butylaniline (EBBA), and doped with a small amount of a dichroic dye. The temperature dependence of the polarized components of optical density Dj of the dye absorption band for the nematic and isotropic phases of the MBBA+EBBA mixture has been obtained using polarization optic techniques. The temperature-induced structural changes in the nematic layer near Tc were found to be related to the changes in the orientational part of the tensor order parameter Qik. The experimental data have been interpreted using the model, in which the dispersive van der Waals forces of the substrate stabilize the planar orientation of the nematic in the bulk competing with the short-range anchoring forces in the vicinity of Tc. At the same time, the anisotropic part of the surface energy has two terms with the orthogonal easy axes. The nature of the surface electric field and its effect on the director alignment at the interface have been clarified. Taking into account the known relation between anchoring strength and the nematic order parameter, the effective anchoring energy weff for the studied system has been determined as a function of temperature.
PACS: 61.30.Gd Orientational order of liquid crystals: electric and magnetic field effects on order – / 61.30.Hn Surface phenomena: alignment, anchoring, anchoring transitions, surface-induced layering, surface-induced ordering, wetting, prewetting transitions, and wetting transitions – / 78.20.Ci Optical constants (including refractive index, complex dielectric constant, absorption, reflection and transmission coefficients, emissivity) –
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag, 2006