Seeding of the nematic-isotropic phase transition by an electric field

MOTTRAM, N. J., CARE, C. M. and CLEAVER, D. J. (2005). Seeding of the nematic-isotropic phase transition by an electric field. .


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Link to published version:: 10.1103/PhysRevE.74.041703


In this paper, we use a relatively simple continuum model to investigate the effects of dielectric inhomogeneity within confined liquid crystal cells. Specifically, we consider, in planar, cylindrical and spherical geometries, the stability of a nematic-isotropic interface subject to an applied voltage. Depending on the magnitude of this voltage, the temperature and the geometry of the cell, the nematic region may shrink until the material is completely isotropic within the cell, grow until the nematic phase cells the cell or, in certain geometries, coexist with the isotropic phase. For planar geometry, no coexistence is found, but we are able to give analytical expressions for the critical voltage for an electric-field-induced phase transition as well as the critical wetting layer thickness for arbitrary applied voltage. In cells with cylindrical and spherical geometries, however, stable nematic-isotropic coexistence is predicted, the thickness of the nematic region being controllable by alteration of the applied voltage.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ©2006 The American Physical Society
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.74.041703
Depositing User: Ann Betterton
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2007
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2015 13:03

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