Director alignment relative to the temperature gradient in nematic liquid crystals studied by molecular dynamics simulation
Number of Authors: 2
2014 (English)In: Physical Chemistry, Chemical Physics - PCCP, ISSN 1463-9076, E-ISSN 1463-9084, Vol. 16, no 28, 14741-14749 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The director alignment relative to the temperature gradient in nematic liquid crystal model systems consisting of soft oblate or prolate ellipsoids of revolution has been studied by molecular dynamics simulation. The temperature gradient is maintained by thermostating different parts of the system at different temperatures by using a Gaussian thermostat. It is found that the director of the prolate ellipsoids aligns perpendicularly to the temperature gradient whereas the director of the oblate ellipsoids aligns parallel to this gradient. When the director is oriented in between the parallel and perpendicular orientations a torque is exerted forcing the director to the parallel or perpendicular orientation. Because of symmetry restrictions there is no linear dependence of the torque being a pseudovector on the temperature gradient being a polar vector in an axially symmetric system such as a nematic liquid crystal. The lowest possible order of this dependence is quadratic. Thus the torque is very weak when the temperature gradient is small, which may explain why this orientation phenomenon is hard to observe experimentally. In both cases the director attains the orientation that minimises the irreversible entropy production.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 16, no 28, 14741-14749 p.
Chemical Sciences Physical Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-106612DOI: 10.1039/c4cp01451kISI: 000338442900048OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-106612DiVA: diva2:737568