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Chemical Physics Publications

1993

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Full-Text Articles in Physics

Field-Driven 1st-Order Structural Transition In The Restricted Geometry Of A Smectic-A Cell, Oleg Lavrentovich, M. Kléman Jul 1993

Field-Driven 1st-Order Structural Transition In The Restricted Geometry Of A Smectic-A Cell, Oleg Lavrentovich, M. Kléman

Chemical Physics Publications

An external field gives rise to a first-order transition in a smectic-A cell; the transition occurs by nucleation of focal conic domains. The physical mechanisms that govern the behavior of the new domain phase are different for small (ρ≪1) and large (ρ≫1) values of the order parameters ρ [ρ=(domain radius)/(cell thickness)]. The nucleation (ρ≪1) is governed by the elastic and field energies and is facilitated by bulk or surface irregularities, while the expansion (ρ≫1) is determined by the balance of the field and anisotropic surface energy.