Competition of lattice and basis for alignment of nematic liquid crystals

DEBENEDICTIS, Andrew, ATHERTON, Timothy J., ANQUETIL-DECK, Candy, CLEAVER, Doug, EMERSON, David B., WOLAK, Matthew and ADLER, James H. (2015). Competition of lattice and basis for alignment of nematic liquid crystals. Physical Review E (PRE), 92 (4), 042501.

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Official URL: http://journals.aps.org/pre/pdf/10.1103/PhysRevE.9...
Link to published version:: 10.1103/PhysRevE.92.042501

Abstract

Due to elastic anisotropy, two-dimensional patterning of substrates can promote weak azimuthal alignment of adjacent nematic liquid crystals. Here we consider how such alignment can be achieved using a periodic square lattice of circular or elliptical motifs. In particular, we examine ways in which the lattice and motif can combine to favor differing orientations. Using Monte Carlo simulation and continuum elasticity we find, for circular motifs, that the coverage fraction controls both the polar anchoring angle and a transition in the azimuthal orientation. If the circles are generalized to ellipses, arbitrary control of the effective easy axis and effective anchoring potential becomes achievable by appropriate tuning of the ellipse motif relative to the periodic lattice patterning. This has possible applications in both monostable and bistable liquid crystal device contexts.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Materials and Engineering Research Institute > Polymers Nanocomposites and Modelling Research Centre > Materials and Fluid Flow Modelling Group
Identification Number: 10.1103/PhysRevE.92.042501
Depositing User: Doug Cleaver
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2015 10:35
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2016 19:06
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/10940

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