Parallel and perpendicular lamellae on corrugated surfaces

Yoav Tsori*, David Andelman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We consider the relative stability of parallel and perpendicular lamellar layers on corrugated surfaces. The model can be applied to smectic phases of liquid crystals, to lamellar phases of short-chain amphiphiles, and to lamellar phases of long-chain block copolymers. The corrugated surface is modeled by having a single q-mode lateral corrugation of a certain height. The lamellae deform close to the surface as a result of chemical interaction with it. The competition between the energetic cost of elastic deformations and the gain in surface energy determines whether parallel or perpendicular lamellar orientation (with respect to the surface) is preferred. Our main results are summarized in two phase diagrams, each exhibiting a transition line from the parallel to perpendicular orientations. The phase diagrams depend on three system parameters: the lamellar natural periodicity, the periodicity of surface corrugations and their corresponding amplitude. For a fixed lamellar periodicity (or polymer chain length), the parallel orientation is preferred for surfaces having small-amplitude corrugations at long wavelengths. For a fixed corrugation periodicity, the parallel orientation is preferred for small corrugation amplitude and/or large lamellae periodicity. Our results are in agreement with recent experimental results carried out on thin block copolymer films of PS - PMMA (polystyrene - poly(methyl methacrylate)) in the lamellar phase and in contact with several corrugated surfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8560-8566
Number of pages7
Issue number22
StatePublished - 4 Nov 2003


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