Surface free energies for nematic shells

Napoli, G. and Vergori, L. (2012) Surface free energies for nematic shells. Physical Review E, 85(6), Art. 061701. (doi: 10.1103/PhysRevE.85.061701)

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We propose a continuum model to describe the molecular alignment in thin nematic shells. By contrast with previous accounts, the two-dimensional free energy, aimed at describing the physics of thin films of nematics deposited on curved substrates, is not postulated, but it is deduced from the conventional three-dimensional theories of nematic liquid crystals. Both the director and the order-tensor theories are taken into account. The so-obtained surface energies exhibit extra terms compared to earlier models. These terms reflect the coupling of the shell extrinsic curvature with the nematic order parameters. As expected, the shape of the shell plays a key role in the equilibrium configurations of nematics coating it.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Vergori, Dr Luigi
Authors: Napoli, G., and Vergori, L.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Mathematics and Statistics > Mathematics
Journal Name:Physical Review E
Publisher:American Physical Society
ISSN (Online):1550-2376

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