We observe, in free-standing films of a chiral smectic liquid crystal, a series of discrete transitions in the relative orientation of the tilt of the interior and surface layers. These transitions include a remarkable reentrant synclinicanticlinic-synclinic ordering sequence of the film surfaces in the presence of an electric field upon cooling. The profiles of the associated heat-capacity anomalies are found to be strongly thickness-dependent and exhibit a novel crossover behavior in reduced dimensions.
- Heat capacity
- Liquid-crystal films
- Phase transition
- Synclinic and anticlinic ordering