Dynamics of pattern coarsening in a two-dimensional smectic system

Christopher Harrison, Zhengdong Cheng, Srinivasan Sethuraman, David A. Huse, Paul M. Chaikin, Daniel A. Vega, John M. Sebastian, Richard A. Register, Douglas H. Adamson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

172 Scopus citations


We have followed the coarsening dynamics of a single layer of cylindrical block copolymer microdomains in a thin film. This system has the symmetry of a two-dimensional smectic. The orientational correlation length of the microdomains was measured by scanning electron microscopy and found to grow with the average spacing between [formula presented] disclinations, following a power law [formula presented] By tracking disclinations during annealing with time-lapse atomic force microscopy, we observe dominant mechanisms of disclination annihilation involving tripoles and quadrupoles (three and four disclinations, respectively). We describe how annihilation events involving multiple disclinations result in similarly reduced kinetic exponents as observed here. These results map onto a wide variety of physical systems that exhibit similarly striped patterns.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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