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X-ray reflectivity study of smectic wetting and prewetting at the free surface of isotropic liquid crystals

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Bahr,  Christian
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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Citation

Lucht, R., Marczuk, P., Bahr, C., & Findenegg, G. H. (2001). X-ray reflectivity study of smectic wetting and prewetting at the free surface of isotropic liquid crystals. Physical Review E, 63(4): 041704. doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.63.041704.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0029-B62F-F
Abstract
We study the structures of free-surface-wetting layers above the isotropic to smectic-A transition of three liquid-crystal compounds that show different kinds of growth of the wetting film as the bulk transition is approached: layer-by-layer, continuous, and continuous with prewetting. The smectic-A surface phase of the layer-by-layer compound consists of well-defined layers and possesses a sharp boundary to the isotropic bulk phase, whereas in the two continuous compounds sinusoidal density oscillations with a continuously decaying amplitude are found. In the continuous case with prewetting, the wetting film below the prewetting transition does not show an essential difference to the continuous case without prewetting.