Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Physics

, Volume 107, Issue 3, pp 526–531 | Cite as

Electric-field-induced unwinding of ferroelectric helix in thin smectic C* layers with soft and rigid anchoring of molecules

  • P. V. Dolganov
  • V. M. Zhilin
  • V. K. Dolganov
  • E. I. Kats
Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics


The unwinding of a helical structure in thin films of a ferroelectric smectic liquid crystal (LC) by an external electric field has been theoretically studied using a discrete model in which every LC layer is characterized by a two-dimensional vector ξ i (describing the orientation of molecules) and by the polarization P i . It is established that the unwinding of the LC helix in thin films significantly differs from the well-known behavior of thick samples. In particular, discrete intermediate states (differing by an integer or half-integer number of turns) are formed in thin films for both weak and strong anchoring of molecules to a substrate surface. The physical factor responsible for this behavior is the presence of near-surface regions with thicknesses below the helix pitch and the corresponding uncompensated polarization.

PACS numbers

61.30.Cz 64.70.Md 


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. V. Dolganov
    • 1
  • V. M. Zhilin
    • 1
  • V. K. Dolganov
    • 1
  • E. I. Kats
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Solid State PhysicsRussian Academy of SciencesChernogolovka, Moscow oblastRussia
  2. 2.Laue-Langevin InstituteGrenobleFrance
  3. 3.Landau Institute for Theoretical PhysicsRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

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