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VOLUME 90 (2009) | ISSUE 5 | PAGE 424
Dimer structures formed in smectic films by inclusions with parallel and antiparallel topological dipole moments
Self-organization of cholesteric and nematic droplets in smectic free-standing films is investigated. Strong tangential anchoring at the droplet boundary leads to nucleation of a topological defect and formation of a topological dipole from the droplet and the defect. The interaction between droplets results in assembly of the droplets in dimers and line chains. Topological dipoles of the droplet-defect pairs can be oriented in dimers with polar (ferroelectric) and nonpolar (antiferroelectric) ordering. In this paper we found novel dimer structures formed by droplets with different handedness of the c-director field near the droplets. Depending on the relative magnitude of the droplet dipoles the resulting structure may be dipolar or quadrupolar. Formation of antiferroelectric dimers is discussed on the basis of electromagnetic analogy.