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Crystals 2019, 9(4), 190; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst9040190

Surface Anchoring Effects on the Formation of Two-Wavelength Surface Patterns in Chiral Liquid Crystals

Department of Chemical Engineering, McGill University, 3610 University Street, Montreal, QC H3A 2B2, Canada
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Received: 26 February 2019 / Revised: 25 March 2019 / Accepted: 26 March 2019 / Published: 2 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Cholesteric Liquid Crystals)
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Abstract

We present a theoretical analysis and linear scaling of two-wavelength surface nanostructures formed at the free surface of cholesteric liquid crystals (CLC). An anchoring model based on the capillary shape equation with the high order interaction of anisotropic interfacial tension is derived to elucidate the formation of the surface wrinkling. We showed that the main pattern-formation mechanism is originated due to the interaction between lower and higher order anchoring modes. A general phase diagram of the surface morphologies is presented in a parametric space of anchoring coefficients, and a set of anchoring modes and critical lines are defined to categorize the different types of surface patterns. To analyze the origin of surface reliefs, the correlation between surface energy and surface nano-wrinkles is investigated, and the symmetry and similarity between the energy and surface profile are identified. It is found that the surface wrinkling is driven by the director pressure and is annihilated by two induced capillary pressures. Linear approximation for the cases with sufficient small values of anchoring coefficients is used to realize the intrinsic properties and relations between the surface curvature and the capillary pressures. The contributions of capillary pressures on surface nano-wrinkling and the relations between the capillary vectors are also systematically investigated. These new findings establish a new approach for characterizing two-length scale surface wrinkling in CLCs, and can inspire the design of novel functional surface structures with the potential optical, friction, and thermal applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: cholesteric liquid crystal; two-length scale surface wrinkling; capillary shape equation; anisotropic surface energy cholesteric liquid crystal; two-length scale surface wrinkling; capillary shape equation; anisotropic surface energy
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Wang, Z.; Rofouie, P.; Rey, A.D. Surface Anchoring Effects on the Formation of Two-Wavelength Surface Patterns in Chiral Liquid Crystals. Crystals 2019, 9, 190.

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