The liquid crystal alignment method described here provides uniform orientation of otherwise difficult-to-align smectic-A liquid crystal materials lacking a nematic phase. The smectic-A phase is grown in the presence of a 10–20 K/mm temperature gradient from an air bubble located within a cell by a photolithographically defined channel in the cell substrates. We obtain uniform layer alignment in millimeter-wide smectic regions at growth rates below about 0.05 μm/s even though there is a tendency for spontaneous nucleation of focal-conic defects at higher growth rates once the width of the smectic-A region exceeds the critical value of about 20 μm.
Journal of Applied Physics
Copyright 2008 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in J. Appl. Phys. 104, 044902 (2008) and may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.2969906
Reznikov, Mitya; Wall, Bentley; Handschy, Mark A.; Bos, Philip J. (2008). Monodomain Alignment of the Smectic-A Liquid Crystalline Phase from the Isotropic Phase. Journal of Applied Physics 104(4) doi: 10.1063/1.2969906. Retrieved from https://oaks.kent.edu/cpippubs/123