Undulation instabilities in the meniscus of smectic membranes

Condensed Matter journal club

Undulation instabilities in the meniscus of smectic membranes

  • Event time: 11:30am
  • Event date: 17th December 2010
  • Speaker: (School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Edinburgh)
  • Location: Room 2511,

Event details


Using optical microscopy, phase shifting interferometry and atomic force microscopy, we demonstrate the existence of undulated structures in the meniscus of ferroelectric smectic-C* films. The meniscus is characterized by a periodic undulation of the smectic-air interface, which manifests itself in a striped pattern. The instability disappears in the untilted smectic-A phase. The modulation amplitude and wavelength both depend on meniscus thickness. We study the temperature evolution of the structure and propose a simple model that accounts for the observed undulations.
Archive Version (submitted to PRL)


J. C. Loudet, P. V. Dolganov, P. Patricio, H. Saadaoui, P. Cluzeau

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