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Ordered phases on curved substrates experience a complex interplay of ordering and intrinsic curvature, commonly producing frustration and singularities. This is an especially important issue in crystals as ever-smaller scale materials are grown on real surfaces; eventually, surface imperfections are on the same scale as the lattice constant. Here, we gain insights into this general problem by studying two-dimensional smectic order on substrates with highly localized intrinsic curvature, constructed from cones and their intersections with planes. In doing so we take advantage of fully tractable “paper and tape” constructions, allowing us to understand, in detail, the induced cusps and singularities.
Date Posted: 31 July 2012
This document has been peer reviewed.