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Formation of a nematic monodomain in a model liquid crystal film

By S. J. Mills, C. M. Care, M. P. Neal, M. R. Wilson, M. P. Allen and D. J. Cleaver


We present details of a cooling sequence of computer simulations performed on an unconfined liquid crystal film. The system studied comprised 7104 Gay-Berne particles and formed a liquid film approximately 70 molecular lengths wide. On cooling from the isotropic liquid phase, the film developed into a persistent fluctuating multi-domain state with very long equilibration times. A rapid quench to lower temperatures ultimately resulted in the formation of a nematic monodomain, surface-anchored domains slowly dominating the inherently unpinned islands of nematic at the centre of the film. It is argued that this sequence of events arose due to the system's orientationally disordered liquid-vapour interfaces (i.e. its property of isotropic wetting). (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2000
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