Molecular simulation of chevrons in confined smectic liquid crystals

WEBSTER, R. E., MOTTRAM, N. J. and CLEAVER, D. J. (2003). Molecular simulation of chevrons in confined smectic liquid crystals. Physical review E, 68, 021706.


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Chevron structures adopted by confined smectic liquid crystals are investigated via molecular dynamics simulations of the Gay-Berne model. The chevrons are formed by quenching nematic films confined between aligning planar substrates whose easy axes have opposing azimuthal components. When the substrates are perfectly smooth, the chevron formed migrates rapidly towards one of the confining walls to yield a tilted layer structure. However, when substrate roughness is included, by introducing a small-amplitude modulation to the particle- substrate interaction well-depth, a symmetric chevron is formed which remains stable over sufficiently long runtimes for detailed structural information, such as the relevant order parameters and director orien- tation, to be determined. For both smooth and rough boundaries, the smectic order parameter remains non-zero across the entire chevron, implying that layer identity is maintained across the chevron tip. Also, when the surface-stabilised chevron does eventually revert to a tilted layer structure, it does so via surface slippage, such that layer integrity is maintained throughout the chevron to tilted layer relaxation process.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ©2003 The American Physical Society
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Materials and Engineering Research Institute > Modelling Research Centre > Materials Modelling group
Identification Number:
Page Range: 021706
Depositing User: Ann Betterton
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2007
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 14:17

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