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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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 - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Materials and Engineering Research Institute > Modelling Research Centre > Materials Modelling group
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Depositing User: Ann Betterton
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2007
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 06:11

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