The European Physical Journal B - Condensed Matter and Complex Systems

, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 327–331

Effect of surface electric field on the anchoring of nematic liquid crystals

  • G. Barbero
  • L.R. Evangelista
  • N.V Madhusudana

DOI: 10.1007/s100510050190

Cite this article as:
Barbero, G., Evangelista, L. & Madhusudana, N. Eur. Phys. J. B (1998) 1: 327. doi:10.1007/s100510050190


We analyse the influence of adsorbed ions and the resulting surface electric field and its gradient on the anchoring properties of nematics with ionic conductivity. We take into account two physical mechanisms for the coupling of the nematic director with the surface electric field: (i) the dielectric anisotropy and (ii) the coupling of the quadrupolar component of the flexoelectric coefficient with the field gradient. It is shown that for sufficiently large fields near saturated coverage of the adsorbed ions, there can be a spontaneous curvature distortion in the cell even when the anchoring energy is infinitely strong. We also discuss the director distortion when the anchoring energy of the surface is finite.

PACS. 61.30.-v Liquid crystals - 61.30.Gd Orientational order of liquid crystals; electric and magnetic field effects on order - 61.30.Cz Theory and models of liquid crystal structure

Copyright information

© EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Barbero
    • 1
  • L.R. Evangelista
    • 2
  • N.V Madhusudana
    • 3
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Fisica del Politecnico and Istituto Nazionale della Materia Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Torino, ItaliaIT
  2. 2.Departamento de Fisica, Universitade Estadual de Maringa, Avenida Colombo 3690, 87020-900, Maringa, Parana, BrazilBR
  3. 3.Raman Research Institute, C.V. Raman Avenue, Bangalore 560 080, IndiaIN