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|Paper IPM / Physic / 8392||
We consider a nematic liquid crystal confined by two parallel flat substrates whose anchoring conditions vary periodically in one lateral direction. Within the Gaussian approximation, we study the effective forces between the patterned substrates induced by the thermal fluctuations of the nematic director. The shear force oscillates as a function of the lateral shift between the patterns on the lower and the upper substrates. We compare the strength of this fluctuation-induced lateral force with the lateral van der Waals force arising from chemically structured adsorbed monolayers. The fluctuation-induced force in the normal direction is either repulsive or attractive, depending on the model parameters.
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