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Expulsion of bend from a smectic liquid crystal: Anology to a type-I superconductor – Ruiting Wang

Date: Mon. September 18th, 2006, 12:30 pm-1:30 pm
Location: Rockefeller 221

Using an atomic force microscope to nanopattern a substrate for liquid crystal alignment, a bend distortion is imposed on a liquid crystal. In regions of large bend the smectic-A phase melts into the nematic phase, and the width of the melted region is measured as a function of temperature. The results are consistent with type-I superconducting (nematic to smectic-A) behavior, wherein a large magnetic field (bend or twist distortion) induces an order to disorder transition. A model that accounts for non mean-field behavior is presented.

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