Quantized layer growth at liquid-crystal surfaces

B. M. Ocko, A. Braslau, P. S. Pershan, Jens Aage Als-Nielsen, M. Deutsch

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    The authors report X-ray reflectivity measurements on the free surface of dodecylcyanobiphenyl (12CB) at the isotropic to smectic-A phase transition. At about 10°C above TIA, smectic-A-like ordering develops at the surface while the bulk phase remains isotropic. The angular dependence of the specular reflectivity is consistent with a sinusoidal density modulation, starting at the surface and terminating abruptly, after an integral number of bilayers. As the transition is approached the number of layers increases in quantized steps from zero to five before the bulk undergoes a first-order transition to the smectic-A phase
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalPhysical Review Letters
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)94-97
    Publication statusPublished - 1986


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