Structural Forces near Phase Transitions of Liquid Crystals

Authors

  • Klemen Kočevar Dr.,

    1. J. Stefan Institute, Jamova 39, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia, Fax: (+386) 1-426-32-69
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  • Igor Muševič Prof. Dr.

    1. J. Stefan Institute, Jamova 39, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia, Fax: (+386) 1-426-32-69
    2. Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, University of Ljubljana, Jadranska 19, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
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Abstract

The structure of the fragile liquid-crystalline phases has a strong impact on the forces between bodies immersed in a liquid crystal (LC). We have equipped an atomic force microscope with a precise temperature control and measured various liquid-crystalline structural forces at temperatures close to the phase transitions. The observed forces agree well with predictions of Landau–de Gennes phenomenological theory of LCs, even at a nanoscale length. In addition to this, we have observed a molecular layer, adsorbed on the surfactant-covered glass surface, and determined its thickness and elastic properties.

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