Controlling Gaussian and mean curvatures at microscale by sublimation and condensation of smectic liquid crystals

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Soft materials with layered structure such as membranes, block copolymers and smectics exhibit intriguing morphologies with nontrivial curvatures. Here, we report restructuring the Gaussian and mean curvatures of smectic A films with free surface in the process of sintering, that is, reshaping at elevated temperatures. The pattern of alternating patches of negative, zero and positive mean curvature of the air-smectic interface has a profound effect on the rate of sublimation. As a result of sublimation, condensation and restructuring, initially equilibrium smectic films with negative and zero Gaussian curvature are transformed into structures with pronounced positive Gaussian curvature of layers packing, which are rare in the samples obtained by cooling from the isotropic melt. The observed relationship between the curvatures, bulk elastic behaviour and interfacial geometries in sintering of smectic liquid crystals might pave the way for new approaches to control soft morphologies at micron and submicron scales.
Publisher
NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
Issue Date
2016-01
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Keywords

FOCAL CONIC DOMAINS; ISOTROPIC-PHASE; DEFECTS; ARRAYS; FILMS

Citation

NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, v.7

ISSN
2041-1723
DOI
10.1038/ncomms10236
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/207687
Appears in Collection
NT-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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