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In-plane switching of a homeotropically aligned, thin smectic C* liquid crystal

McKay, G. and Mackenzie, K.R. (2002) In-plane switching of a homeotropically aligned, thin smectic C* liquid crystal. Ferroelectrics, 277. pp. 107-116. ISSN 0015-0193

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Abstract

Most early theoretical studies of smectic liquid crystals exclude variations in the interlayer spacing or changes in molecular tilt with respect to the smectic layer normal, e.g. Leslie et al . [1] Recently McKay and Leslie [2] presented a theory for smectics which does allow for variations in tilt. With this theory they modelled a smectic C liquid crystal confined in a cell, its layers coplanar with the boundary plates, but subject to strong anchoring incompatible with the smectic C tilt. Subsequently Mazzulla and Sambles [3] found good agreement between theoretical predictions using the theory and their experimental observations. We present a model similar to [2] which also allows a twist in the molecule profile across the thickness of the sample. We consider a thin sample of Sm C* liquid crystal at a temperature well below the Sm A-Sm C* phase transition. A twist profile is induced by incorporating an in-plane electric field (e.g. Oh-e and Kondo [4] ) into the model.