Sublimation of isolated toric focal conic domains on micro-patterned surfaces†
Toric focal conic domains (TFCDs) in smectic liquid crystals exhibit distinct topological characteristics, featuring torus-shaped molecular alignment patterns with rotational symmetry around a central core. TFCDs have attracted much interest due to their unique topological structures and properties, enabling not only fundamental studies but also potential applications in liquid crystal (LC)-based devices. Here, we investigated the precise spatial control of the arrangement of TFCDs using micropatterns and sublimation of TFCDs to estimate the energy states of the torus-like structures. Through simulations, we observed that the arrangement of TFCDs strongly depends on the shape of the topographies of underlying substrates. To accurately estimate the energetic effects of non-zero eccentricity and evaluate their thermodynamic stability, we propose a geometric model. Our findings provide valuable insights into the behavior of smectic LCs, offering opportunities for developing novel LC-based devices with precise control over their topological properties.