Layer undulations in a smectic C liquid crystal with weak anchoring

A J. Walker, I.W. Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The free energy for a sample of smectic C liquid crystal bounded between
two semi-infinite plates with weak surface anchoring on the boundaries is
considered. A magnetic field is applied across the sample and the ensuing
layer undulations are studied. The free energy is minimized to give relations
involving the elastic energies, magnetic field strength and wave numbers which
govern the layer undulations. Forms for the critical field strength and critical
wave numbers are derived and compared to analogous results in a system with
strong surface anchoring. An expression for the layer undulation amplitude
is derived for weak anchoring which can be compared with the classical
Helfrich–Hurault theory for strong anchoring and recent experimental results
for cholesteric liquid crystals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11849-11861
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


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