Influence of weak anchoring upon the alignment of smectic a liquid crystals with surface pretilt

R. De Vita, I.W. Stewart

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Equilibrium configurations for smectic A liquid crystals in a 'bookshelf' geometry are determined from a nonlinear continuum model under strong and weak anchoring conditions at the boundary for the usual director n. Natural boundary conditions are derived for n and the smectic layer normal a when a preferred director orientation np, which generally induces a director pretilt, is prescribed on the boundaries. Two key aspects are examined via the nonlinear equilibrium equations: the separation of n from a and the influence of weak anchoring. The orientations of n and a relative to np may differ significantly and depend very much upon the magnitude of the anchoring strength. These results from a nonlinear theory are natural and novel developments of previous classical linearized models for which . Comparisons are also drawn between solutions for strong and weak anchoring conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335101-335101
Number of pages0
JournalJournal of Physics: Condensed Matter
Issue number33
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2008



  • Soft matter
  • liquids and polymers
  • surfaces
  • interfaces and thin films

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