Liquid crystals embedded in gels
A low volume fraction gel structure can strongly perturb the ordered phases of liquid crystals. High resolution x-ray diffraction and ac-calorimetric experiments have been carried out on various liquid crystals embedded in gels. Results will be presented for the nematic--smectic-A, the smectic-A--smectic-C and the isotropic--smectic-A transitions. Positional ordering is observed to be systematically modified while the tilting transition is oblivious to confinement. Quantitative comparisons are made with the random-field model (Imry and Ma) and with the anomalous elasticity model (Radzihovsky and Toner). M.K. Ramazanoglu et al., cond-mat/0311635
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