Universal non-monotonic smectic fluctuations of liquid crystal films in a magnetic field
Departamento de Física, Universidade Federal
de Alagoas, 57072-970 Maceió - AL, Brazil
Corresponding author: a firstname.lastname@example.org
Published online: 1 April 2003
Free-standing liquid crystal films with positive diamagnetic susceptibility can have the smectic ordering enhanced by an external field applied perpendicular to the plane layers. Within a quadratic functional integral approach, we investigate the interplay between the smectic order induced by an external field H and that due to the surface tension γ between the film and the surrounding gas. We find that the average smectic fluctuation is a non-monotonic function of film thickness, with a characteristic thickness scale delimiting the predominance of surface tension and magnetic field effects. This characteristic thickness obeys simple asymptotic power-law relations as a function of the ordering terms which allows us to represent the average smectic fluctuations in a universal scaling form.
PACS: 61.30.Hn – Surface phenomena: alignment, anchoring, anchoring transitions, surface-induced layering, surface-induced ordering, wetting, prewetting transitions, and wetting transitions / 61.30.Gd – Orientational order of liquid crystals; electric and magnetic field effects on order / 61.30.Dk – Continuum models and theories of liquid crystal structure
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag, 2003