Capillary and anchoring effects in thin hybrid nematic films and connection with bulk behavior

D. de las Heras, L. Mederos, and E. Velasco
Phys. Rev. E, 79, 011712, (2009)     DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.79.011712
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By means of a molecular model, we examine hybrid nematic films with antagonistic anchoring angles where one of the surfaces is in the strong anchoring regime. If anchoring at the other surface is weak, and in the absence of wetting by the isotropic phase, the anchoring transition may interact with the capillary isotropic-nematic transition. For general anchoring conditions on this surface we confirm the existence of the steplike biaxial phase and the associated transition to the linear constant-tilt-rotation, configuration. The steplike phase is connected with the bulk isotropic phase for increasing film thickness so that the latter transition is to be interpreted as the capillary isotropic-nematic transition in a hybrid film.

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