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Keywords:

  • smectic liquid crystal;
  • focal conic domains;
  • self-assembly;
  • patterning

Abstract

Recently, it has been reported that liquid crystal (LC) defects can be used to create highly periodic templates by controlling the surface anchoring and the elastic properties of LC molecules. The self-assembled defect ordering of the LC materials takes advantage of the ability to achieve fast stabilization of molecular ordering and structure due to the reversible and non-covalent interactions of the LC molecules. In this Featre Article, the defect structures of liquid crystalline materials will be demonstrated by the surface anchoring and elastic properties. A particular focus are the focal conic domains (FCDs) that are commonly observed in SmA liquid crystals and their lamellar lyotropic counterparts, which form periodic defect ordered structures. In addition, methodologies for creating lithographic templates from the defect order will be described. Finally, the review closes with a discussion of toric focal conic domain arrays that have been fabricated in this manner and used for various applications.