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VOLUME 80 | ISSUE 4 | PAGE 311
Anticlinic-synclinic transitions in superthin free-standing smectic films
P. V. Dolganov, G. Joly+, P. Cluzeau*, V. K. Dolganov, C. Gors+, H. T. Nguyen*

Institute of Solid State Physics RAS, 142432 Chernogolovka, Moscow Region, Russia
+Laboratoire de Dynamique et Structures des Matériaux Moleculaire, Université de Lille 1, 59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq, France
* Centre de Recherche Paul Pascal, CNRS, 33600 Pessac, France

PACS: 61.30.-v, 64.70.Md, 61.30.Gd
Anticlinic-synclinic transition was studied in superthin smectic films using polarized light reflected microscopy. The measurements were made in a compound exhibiting the SmCFI1* subphase in a narrow temperature interval between antiferroelectric SmCA* and ferroelectric SmC* phases. In films we observed series of transitions which numbers increases with increasing film thickness. Surface ordering leads to increasing transition temperatures with decreasing film thickness and to change of orientation of the molecular tilt plane in layers. Succession of transitions results from the competition between the surface and the bulk ordering. We found that line string defects may form in film, their orientation and collective behavior result from elastic deformation of molecular ordering.

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