Smectic liquid crystals: Materials with one-dimensional, periodic order

Randall D. Kamien, Christian D. Santangelo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Smectic liquid crystals are materials formed by stacking deformable, fluid layers. Although smectics prefer to have flat, uniformly-spaced layers, boundary conditions can impose curvature on the layers. Since the layer spacing and curvature are intertwined, the problem of finding minimal configurations for the layers becomes nontrivial. We discuss various topological and geometrical aspects of these materials and present recent progress on finding some exact layer configurations. We also exhibit connections to the study of certain embedded minimal surfaces and briefly summarize some important open problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-240
Number of pages12
JournalGeometriae Dedicata
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Foliations
  • Liquid crystals
  • Mean curvature flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geometry and Topology


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