J. Chem. Phys. 96, 6249 (1992)

Pretransitional nematic surface order in the isotropic phase of phenylcyclohexanes

S. Immerschitt, T. Koch, W. Stille and G. Strobl

Fakultät für Physik, Universität Freiburg, Hermann-Herder-Straße 3, 79104 Freiburg, Germany


Pretransitional order at the free surface of the isotropic phase of two phenylcyclohexanes (PCH5 and PCH7) was studied by reflection ellipsometry under variation of the angle of incidence. Data analysis shows a logarithmic divergence of the boundary layer thickness when the temperature approaches the isotropic-nematic transition point, indicating complete wetting behavior. The data are well represented by fits to a model based on a Landau-de Gennes approach, yielding order parameter profiles of the layer.