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Instability patterns in ultrathin nematic films: Comparison between theory and experiment

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Published 3 November 2010 Europhysics Letters Association
, , Citation O. V. Manyuhina et al 2010 EPL 92 16005



Motivated by recent experimental observations (Delabre U. et al., Langmuir, 24 (2008) 3998), we reconsider an instability of ultrathin nematic films, spread on liquid substrates. Within a continuum elastic theory of liquid crystals, in the harmonic approximation, we find an analytical expressions for the critical thickness as well as for the critical wave number, characterizing the onset of instability towards the stripe phase. Comparing theoretical predictions with experimental observations, we establish the utility of surface-like term such as an azimuthal anchoring.

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