Liquid crystals allow us to perform experiments that provide insight into fundamental problems of modern physics, such as phase transitions, frustration, elasticity, hydrodynamics, defects, growth phenomena, and optics.
Smectic and Columnar Liquid Crystals: Concepts and Physical Properties Illustrated by Experiments is a result of personal research and of the graduate lectures given by the authors at the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon and the University of Paris VII, respectively. The book examines lamellar (smectic) and columnar liquid crystals, which, in addition to orientational order, possess 1D, 2D or 3D positional order. This volume illustrates original physical concepts using methodically numerous experiments, theoretical developments, and diagrams. Topics include rheology and plasticity, ferroelectricity, analogies with superconductors, hexatic order and 2D-melting, equilibrium shapes, facetting, and the Mullins-Sekerka instability, as well as phase transitions in free films and membrane vibrations. Nematic and cholesteric liquid crystals are covered by the authors in a separate volume entitled Nematic and Cholesteric Liquid Crystals: Concepts and Physical Properties Illustrated by Experiments.
Smectic and Columnar Liquid Crystals is an ideal introduction and a valuable source of reference for theoretical and experimental studies of advanced students and researchers in liquid crystals, condensed matter physics, and materials science.
Table of Contents
Dedication Preface to the English edition SMECTIC AND COLUMNAR LIQUID CRYSTALS Structure of the Smectic A Phase and the Transition Toward the Nematic Phase Lamellar Structure of the Smectic A Phase The Smectic A-Nematic Transition: a Simplified Approach De Gennes' Theory of the Smectic A-Nematic Transition: Analogy With Superconductivity Pretransitional Effects in the Nematic Phase Influence of the Fluctuations in Director Orientation on the Transition Order: the Theory of Halperin, Lubensky, and Ma An Alternative Theory Appendix 1: Superconducting Vortices and Screw Dislocations Appendix 2: X-ray Scattering and the Determination of the Structure Factor Continuum Theory of Smectics A Hydrodynamics Static Description Layer Undulation Instability Equations of Smectic Hydrodynamics Sound Propagation in Smectics Continuous flow Dislocations, Focal Conics, and Rheology of Smectics A Focal conics Dislocations Rheological Behavior at Low Shear Rate and Lubrication Theory Rheological Behavior at High Shear Rates Microplasticity Ferroelectric and Antiferroelectric Mesophases Do Ferroelectric Mesophases Exist? Genesis of the Smectic C* Phase Experimental Evidence for the Spontaneous Polarization Measurement and Use of the Spontaneous Polarization Hydroelectric Effect Electromechanical Effect The SmA -> SmC* Transition Anticlinic, Mesophases, Antiferroelectric and Ferrielectric Mesophases Formed by Banana-Shaped Molecules The Twist-Grain Boundary Smectics The Renn-Lubensky Model Discovery of the TGBA Phase Other TGB Phases Elasticity of the TGB Phases Smectic Blue Phases Hexatic Smectics Theory of Two-Dimensional Melting: the Hexatic Phase Hexatic Smectics Quasi-Elastic Light Scattering Rheology Appendix 1: Peierls Disorder The Smectic B Plastic Crystal Structure of Smectic B Phases Elastic and Plastic Properties Equilibrium Shape of a Smectic B Germ Herring instability Instabilities of the SmA-SmB Front in Directional Growth Appendix 1: Creep by Crossing of Localized Obstacles Smectic Free Films Making Smectic Films Some Crucial Experiments Thermodynamics of Thermotropic Films Steps in Smectic Films Film Structure and Phase Transitions at a Fixed Number of Layers Smectic Films as Model Systems Columnar Phases Structure and Optical Properties Elasticity Developable Domains Dislocations Measurement of the Elastic Constants Mechanical Instabilities Dynamics of the Buckling Instabilities Light Scattering Threads of Columnar Mesophases Growth of a Columnar Hexagonal Phase Phase Diagram and Physical Constants of the Material Growth in the Diffusive Regime (0
". . . an excellent book . . . well illustrated by diagrams and very good accounts of experiments which amply illustrate the important and fascinating properties of these materials . . . a timely publication . . ."
– David Harwood, Institute for Science Education, University of Plymouth, in Physical Sciences Educational Reviews, Vol. 7, No. 2