Owing to their lamellar structure, the smectic liquid crystals form films, similar to soap bubbles, that can be stretched on frames of arbitrary shape. This property of smectic mesophases was already known to Georges Friedel at the beginning of the 20th century. In his treatise on mesophases [1], he speaks about it in these terms:

“A similarity can be found between the terrace-shaped droplets and the soap films studied by numerous physicists, and which were in particular the object of observations and measurements by J. Perrin and P.V. Wells.”