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Crossover in the wetting behavior at surfactant-laden liquid-crystal–water interfaces: Experiment and theory

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Kadivar,  E.
Group Theory of wet random assemblies, Department of Dynamics of Complex Fluids, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Bahr,  Ch.
Group Structure formation in soft matter, Department of Dynamics of Complex Fluids, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Stark,  H.
Department of Dynamics of Complex Fluids, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Kadivar, E., Bahr, C., & Stark, H. (2007). Crossover in the wetting behavior at surfactant-laden liquid-crystal–water interfaces: Experiment and theory. Physical Review E, 75: 061711. doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.75.061711.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0029-1411-7
Abstract
The behavior of a nematic liquid crystal at a surfactant-laden interface to an aqueous phase is studied under the condition of homeotropic anchoring. It is shown that with decreasing surfactant concentration the system shifts from surface-enhanced to surface-decreased order, i.e., the behavior changes from complete nematic wetting when the nematic–isotropic phase transition is approached from above to a different wetting behavior below the transition, characterized by a considerably decreased Maier-Saupe order parameter at the interface. The experimental behavior is analyzed within the framework of the Landau–de Gennes theory supplemented by a surface free energy, in which the wetting behavior is controlled by the magnitude of the anchoring strength and the preferred surface order parameter in comparison to the bulk order parameter. The theoretical modeling is able to account for all experimental observations.