The molecular arrangement of tilted surface layers on freestanding films above the bulk smectic-[Formula presented]–smectic-[Formula presented] transition has been studied by null transmission ellipsometry. In the presence of an applied in-plane electric field, a synclinic-anticlinic-synclinic-anticlinic double reentrance has been observed. Furthermore, we have characterized a novel transition from the synclinic arrangement to a structure in which the interior layers tilt in the same orientation and the outermost surface layers tilt oppositely with the interior layers.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The research was supported in part by the National Science Foundation, Solid State Chemistry Program under Grant No. DMR-0106122. A. C. acknowledges financial support from the Stanwood Johnston Memorial Foundation at the University of Minnesota.