A free discontinuity model for smectic thin films

J. M. Ball, G. Canevari, B. Stroffolini

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We attempt to describe surface defects in smectic A thin films by formulating a free discontinuity problem – that is, a variational problem in which the order parameter is allowed to have jump discontinuities on some (unknown) set. The free energy functional contains an interfacial energy, which penalises dislocations of the smectic layers at the jump. We discuss mathematical issues related to the existence of minimisers and provide examples of minimisers in some simplified settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1439-1448
Number of pages10
JournalLiquid Crystals
Issue number7-10
Early online date13 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2023


  • BV ellipticity
  • Smectic liquid crystals
  • special functions of bounded variation
  • surface defects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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