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Physical Review E

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Previous experimental evidence has suggested the existence of a transient planar state during the transition from a homeotropic state to a focal conic state. This does not appear at first to be physically reasonable. Here we show a quantitative numerical model of this transition that shows the existence of the transient planar state and agrees well with measured data. We compared this simulation with two experimental samples: one with parallel boundary conditions, and one with perpendicular boundary conditions. Both samples had thickness to pitch ratios of 13.9. The agreement of the simulation with the experimental data gives further evidence that the system passes through the transient planar during the transition. Also shown here are preliminary results for the second part of the transition, the transition from the transient planar state to the focal conic state, that suggest a Helfrich-like undulation deformation.


Copyright 2000 American Physical Society. Available on publisher's site at

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