Evidence of anisotropic quenched disorder effects on a smectic liquid crystal confined in porous silicon

Regis Guegan, Denis Morineau, Claude Loverdo, Wilfried Béziel, Mohammed Guendouz

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We present a neutron scattering analysis of the structure of the smectic liquid crystal octylcyanobiphenyl (8CB) confined in one-dimensional nanopores of porous silicon films (PS). The smectic transition is completely suppressed, leading to the extension of a short-range ordered smectic phase aligned along the pore axis. It evolves reversibly over an extended temperature range, down to 50 K below the N-SmA transition in pure 8CB. This behavior strongly differs from previous observations of smectics in different one-dimensional porous materials. A coherent picture of this striking behavior requires that quenched disorder effects are invoked. The strongly disordered nature of the inner surface of PS acts as random fields coupling to the smectic order. The one-dimensionality of PS nanochannels offers perspectives on quenched disorder effects, of which observation has been restricted to homogeneous random porous materials so far.

Original languageEnglish
Article number011707
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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