Summary: Europhys. Lett., 59 (6), pp. 848854 (2002)
EUROPHYSICS LETTERS 15 September 2002
Calorimetric study of nematic prewetting
Xuewu Liu, D. W. Allender and D. Finotello
Department of Physics, Kent State University - Kent, OH 44242-0001, USA
(received 12 November 2001; accepted in final form 20 June 2002)
PACS. 61.30.Gd Orientational order of liquid crystals; electric and magnetic field effects on
PACS. 64.70.Md Transitions in liquid crystals.
PACS. 68.08.Bc Wetting.
Abstract. We report specific-heat measurements for a series of liquid crystals imbedded
in a porous cylindrical geometry. Above the nematic-to-isotropic transition and dependent on
nematic width (or chain length), the specific heat shows a small peak. In analogy to known
ellipsometry results, the peak is believed to be the signature of a nematic prewetting transition.
The behavior of liquid crystals (LC) at interfaces has been extensively researched due to
the fundamental phenomena present and the possible impact on technological applications.
Typical studies have determined the orientational anchoring and/or wetting behavior of LC at
solid substrates or at the air interface . Using ellipsometry on planar LC films, Lucht et
al.  investigated the wetting behavior at the free surface, above the nematic (or smectic-
A) to isotropic phase transition for several LC series. Above the smectic-Atoisotropic (AI)