Surface Anchoring and Growth-Pattern of the Field-Driven 1St-Order Transition in a Smectic-A Liquid-Crystal07/11/1994
It is demonstrated that a surface energy anisotropy (anchoring) defines the growth pattern of the field-induced transition in a smectic-A liquid crystal (Sm-A). The stable domain phase nucleates as rounded domains but expands as stripes. The change in growth pattern is accounted for a large anchoring strength Wa∼10-2-10-3 J/m2 which is connected with the layer breaking in the vicinity of the cell plates. The temperature dependence of Wa for Sm-A (substance CCN-47) is measured for the first time: Wa∼(TA-N-T)0.65±0.09.