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Theoretical model of the transition between C1 and C2 chevron structures in smectic liquid crystals

Diaz, A. and Mottram, N.J. and McKay, G. (2005) Theoretical model of the transition between C1 and C2 chevron structures in smectic liquid crystals. European Physical Journal E - Soft Matter, 18 (2). pp. 231-237. ISSN 1292-8941

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Abstract

We present a study of the effect of weak anchoring on the transition between C1 and C2 chevron structures in smectic-C liquid crystals. The coexistence of C1 and C2 chevron structures within a single cell causes zigzag defects to occur and may affect the optical characteristics of the cell. By standard Euler-Lagrange minimisation of the total energy of the system, we obtain analytical expressions for the equilibrium director cone angle in the two chevron states. These in turn allow us to compare the total energies of the states and determine the globally stable chevron profile. We show that analytical predictions for the critical transition temperature, which depends on anchoring strength and pretilt angle, are in good agreement with those obtained numerically.