The X-ray reflectivity form the surface of a liquid crystal with terminally polar (cyano substituted) molecules has been studied using a high-resolution triple-axis X-ray spectrometer in combination with a synchrotron source. It is demonstrated that at the surface of the smectic Al phase a few antiferroelectric double layers develop that can be distinguished from the bulk single layer structure. A model is developed that separates the electron density in a contribution from the molecular form factor, and from the structure factor of the mono- and the bilayers, respectively. It shows that (i) the first molecular layer has tails up rather than heads up, (ii) the smectic order parameter of the first mono- and bilayer is saturated, (iii) the antiferroelectric bilayering does decay rather abruptly and not exponentially.
|Journal de Physique (Paris)
|Published - 1986