Transfer of smectic films to a solid substrate by the method of Maclennan
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Free-standing smectic films are transferred onto a solid substrate by the method of Maclennan. When examined with an atomic force microscope, the transferred films show a large number of small holes. In order to explain the genesis of these defects, the transfer process is analysed both experimentally and theoretically. In particular, shapes of free films spanned between the flat substrate and a circular frame are calculated and it is shown that during the transfer process films are submitted to an increase of their surface area. During experimental studies of the transfer process, stable and unstable forms of the catenoid-shaped free films, spanned between the substrate and the circular frame, are observed. Their existence is explained theoretically.
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