Certain thermotropic, liquid crystal films exhibit a strange phenomenon in which two different thicknesses coexist side-by-side on a solid surface over a definite range of temperatures. A newly discovered thickness-coexistence region is presented for stable films of the liquid crystal 8CB adsorbed on silicon. A phase diagram is deduced from X-ray and optical measurements. The analysis of the percent areas, covered by thin and thick phases in the coexistence region, reveals that they satisfy a lever rule similar to other thermodynamic systems.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
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