Chemical Physics and Dynamics of Surfaces – Dynamics of interfaces – Single-phase faceted fronts in directional solidification in thin samples


“Faceton”, or faceted solitary wave, in directional solidification in a thin sample of a mesomorphic molecule (denoted CCH4) exhibiting a nematic-smectic B transition. Smectic B is a “plastic crystal” phase with a lamellar crystal structure. Nematic and CCH4 crystals can be oriented “planar”. The B-nematic smectic interface has a facet plane parallel to the crystalline lamellae, which in planar orientation is perpendicular to the sample plane. These facets form a little above the cell bifurcation (due to residual impurities).

(T. Börzsönyi, S. Akamatsu et G. Faivre, Dynamics of a faceted nematic-smectic B front in thin-sample directional solidification, Phys. Rev. E, 65, 011702 (2002)).


Caption: Faceted dendrites of biphenyl.