We describe a model for the layer-thinning transition in free-standing liquid-crystal films based on the successive, spontaneous formation of dislocation loops. As the film temperature increases and the smectic order and layer compressional modulus decrease, the condition for creating a dislocation loop of critical radius is met and a thinning is nucleated. The resulting equation for N, the number of smectic layers, as a function of temperature yields good fitting results to the thinning transitions obtained from several fluorinated compounds.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Physical Review E - Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1999|