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Comparative study of temperature dependent orientational relaxation in a model thermotropic liquid crystal and in a model supercooled liquid

By Dwaipayan Chakrabarti and Biman Bagchi


Recent optical Kerr effect experiments have revealed a power law decay of the measured signal with a temperature independent exponent at short-to-intermediate times for a number of liquid crystals in the isotropic phase near the isotropic-nematic transition and supercooled molecular liquids above the mode coupling theory critical temperature. In this work, the authors investigate the temperature dependence of short-to-intermediate time orientational relaxation in a model thermotropic liquid crystal across the isotropic-nematic transition and in a binary mixture across the supercooled liquid regime in molecular dynamics simulations. The measure of the experimentally observable optical Kerr effect signal is found to follow a power law decay at short-to-intermediate times for both systems in agreement with recent experiments. In addition, the temperature dependence of the power law exponent is found to be rather weak. As the model liquid crystalline system settles into the nematic phase upon cooling, the decay of the single-particle second-rank orientational time correlation function exhibits a pattern that is similar to what has been observed for supercooled liquids

Topics: Solid State & Structural Chemistry Unit
Publisher: American Institute of Physics
Year: 2007
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