J. Phys. I France
Volume 3, Number 7, July 1993
Page(s) 1551 - 1567
DOI: 10.1051/jp1:1993200
J. Phys. I France 3 (1993) 1551-1567

Topological defects in lamellar phases: passages, and their fluctuations

J. Goos and G. Gompper

Sektion Physik der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Theresienstr. 37, 8000 München 2, Germany

(Received 4 March 1993, accepted in final form 23 March 1993)

In lamellar phases of ternary amphiphilic mixtures, passages are tube-like connections of neighboring oil- (or water-) layers. Passages form spontaneously due to the thermal fluctuations of the monolayers (or membranes), which separate oil and water. Analogous membrane conformations also exist in binary amphiphilic mixtures, where the membranes are amphiphilic bilayers. We study the shape and the fluctuations of passages. Our analysis is based on the curvature model of fluid membranes, both with and without spontaneous curvature. Passages have a very small bending energy, and show strong fluctuations. The mean radius, the fluctuations of the radius, and the asphericity of the passage are calculated. All these quantities are experimentally accessible.

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