Surface effects in thin films of antiferroelectric smectic liquid crystals in terms of the short-pitch long-pitch competition model
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A theoretical model based on the competition between short-pitch and long-pitch types of helical order is developed for thin films of antiferroelectric smectic liquid crystals. In the case of the “bookshelf” structure of the film and non-polar surfaces, subsurface perturbations of the ordering are found out analytically. Corresponding contributions to the free energies of the different phases are analysed. The possibility of sufficient influence of the boundaries on phase sequences is predicted even in the case of weak surface anchoring. A consistent explanation of the controversial experimental information is given; further ways of experimental justification of the model assumptions are discussed.
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