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Chemical Physics Publications

2008

Instability

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Monodomain Alignment Of The Smectic-A Liquid Crystalline Phase From The Isotropic Phase, Mitya Reznikov, Bentley Wall, Mark A. Handschy, Philip J. Bos Aug 2008

Monodomain Alignment Of The Smectic-A Liquid Crystalline Phase From The Isotropic Phase, Mitya Reznikov, Bentley Wall, Mark A. Handschy, Philip J. Bos

Chemical Physics Publications

The liquid crystal alignment method described here provides uniform orientation of otherwise difficult-to-align smectic-A liquid crystal materials lacking a nematic phase. The smectic-A phase is grown in the presence of a 10–20 K/mm temperature gradient from an air bubble located within a cell by a photolithographically defined channel in the cell substrates. We obtain uniform layer alignment in millimeter-wide smectic regions at growth rates below about 0.05 μm/s even though there is a tendency for spontaneous nucleation of focal-conic defects at higher growth rates once the width of the smectic-A region exceeds the critical value of ...