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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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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.