Nematic liquid crystal director structures in rectangular regions

Walton, J., Mottram, N.J. and McKay, G. (2018) Nematic liquid crystal director structures in rectangular regions. Physical Review E, 97(2), 022702. (doi: 10.1103/PhysRevE.97.022702)

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We consider a shallow rectangular well of nematic liquid crystal subject to weak anchoring on the sides of the well. By considering weak anchoring instead of infinitely strong anchoring, we are able to analyze nematic equilibria in the well without the need to exclude point defects at the corners, as done in previous work in the area. For relatively weak anchoring, we are able to derive analytic expressions for the director alignment angle in terms of an infinite series of modes, involving roots of a transcendental equation. The analytic forms of the director configuration are then used to calculate critical anchoring strengths at which uniform and distorted director structures exchange stability. We also consider the asymptotic behavior of the director structure and energy for very strong anchoring. We show that in both cases—for the transitions from uniform to distorted states and the limit of infinitely strong anchoring—the approximate analytic expansions agree very well with corresponding numerical calculations of the full model.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by the United Kingdom Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) via Grant No. EP/M508159/1.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mottram, Professor Nigel
Authors: Walton, J., Mottram, N.J., and McKay, G.
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
Published Online:16 February 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 American Physical Society
First Published:First published in Physical Review E 97(2): 022702
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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