Stein fillings of contact structures supported by planar open books
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In this thesis we study topology of symplectic fillings of contact manifolds supported by planar open books. We obtain results regarding geography of the symplectic fillings of these contact manifolds. Specifically, we prove that if a contact manifold (M,ξ) is supported by a planar open book, then Euler characteristic and signature of any Stein filling of (M,ξ) is bounded. We also prove a similar finiteness result for contact manifolds supported by spinal open books with planar pages. Moving beyond the geography of Stein fillings, we classify fillings of some lens spaces. In addition, we classify Stein fillings of an infinite family of contact 3-manifolds up to diffeomorphism. Some contact 3-manifolds in this family can be obtained by Legendrian surgeries on (S³, ξ std) along certain Legendrian 2-bridge knots. We also classify Stein fillings, up to symplectic deformation, of an infinite family of contact 3-manifolds which can be obtained by Legendrian surgeries on (S³, ξ std) along certain Legendrian twist knots. As a corollary, we obtain a classification of Stein fillings of an infinite family of contact hyperbolic 3-manifolds up to symplectic deformation.