Using a temperature controlled atomic force microscope (AFM), we have studied surface induced pre-smectic order in the nematic and isotropic phases of 4-cyano-4(')-n-octylbiphenyl. A modified AFM head with piezoresitive cantilevers has been used to measure the structural force between a flat BK7 glass plate and a 10 mu m glass sphere, both being treated to induce homeotropic alignment of the confined liquid crystal layer in between. We have observed surface-induced presmectic force not only in the isotropic, but also in the nematic phase. We have measured the temperature dependencies of the presmectic force, the smectic correlation length xi and the smectic order parameter psi at the surface. The correlation length xi(T) shows a power-law temperature dependence with a critical exponent of nu=0.67 +/- 0.03 and the bare correlation length of xi(0)=(0.39 +/- 0.08) nm, in good agreement with x-ray data. The smectic density at the surface is psi(S)(2)=0.4 in the nematic phase and decreases in the isotropic phase.

Atomic force microscope study of presmectic modulation in the nematic and isotropic phases of the liquid crystal octylcyanobiphenyl using piezoresistive force detection RID B-9102-2008

BARBERI, Riccardo Cristoforo;
2005

Abstract

Using a temperature controlled atomic force microscope (AFM), we have studied surface induced pre-smectic order in the nematic and isotropic phases of 4-cyano-4(')-n-octylbiphenyl. A modified AFM head with piezoresitive cantilevers has been used to measure the structural force between a flat BK7 glass plate and a 10 mu m glass sphere, both being treated to induce homeotropic alignment of the confined liquid crystal layer in between. We have observed surface-induced presmectic force not only in the isotropic, but also in the nematic phase. We have measured the temperature dependencies of the presmectic force, the smectic correlation length xi and the smectic order parameter psi at the surface. The correlation length xi(T) shows a power-law temperature dependence with a critical exponent of nu=0.67 +/- 0.03 and the bare correlation length of xi(0)=(0.39 +/- 0.08) nm, in good agreement with x-ray data. The smectic density at the surface is psi(S)(2)=0.4 in the nematic phase and decreases in the isotropic phase.
Atomic Force Microscopy; Smectic Order; Force Spectroscopy
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/133171
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