Curvature and topology in smectic-a liquid crystals

Christian D. Santangelo, Randall D. Kamien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Considerations of rotational invariance in one-dimensionally modulated systems such as smectics-A, necessitate nonlinearities in the free energy. The presence of these nonlinearities is critical for determining the layer configurations around defects. We generalize our recent construction for finding exact minima of an approximate nonlinear free energy to the full, rotationally invariant smectic free energy. Our construction exhibits the detailed connection between mean curvature, Gaussian curvature and layer spacing. For layers without Gaussian curvature, we reduce the Euler-Lagrange equation to an equation governing the evolution of a surface. As an example, we determine the layer profile and free energy of an edge dislocation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2911-2921
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2061
StatePublished - Aug 9 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Edge dislocations
  • Exact solutions
  • Nonlinear elasticity
  • Smectics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Mathematics
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Curvature and topology in smectic-a liquid crystals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this