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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(12), 24135-24153; doi:10.3390/ijms141224135

Dynamics of Order Reconstruction in a Nanoconfined Nematic Liquid Crystal with a Topological Defect

Department of physics, Hebei University of Technology, Tianjin 300401, China
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 September 2013 / Revised: 26 November 2013 / Accepted: 27 November 2013 / Published: 12 December 2013
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At the wall in a hybrid nematic cell with strong anchoring, the nematic director is parallel to one wall and perpendicular to the other. Within the Landau-de Gennes theory, we have investigated the dynamics of s = ±1/2 wedge disclinations in such a cell, using the two-dimensional finite-difference iterative method. Our results show that with the cell gap decreasing, the core of the defect explodes, and the biaxiality propagates inside the cell. At a critical value of dc* (where ξ is the characteristic length for order-parameter changes), the exchange solution is stable, while the defect core solution becomes metastable. Comparing to the case with no initial disclination, the value at which the exchange solution becomes stable increases relatively. At a critical separation of dc ≈ 6ξ, the system undergoes a structural transition, and the defect core merges into a biaxial layer with large biaxiality. For weak anchoring boundary conditions, a similar structural transition takes place at a relative lower critical value. Because of the weakened frustration, the asymmetric boundary conditions repel the defect to the weak anchoring boundary and have a relatively lower critical value of da, where the shape of the defect deforms. Further, the response time between two very close cell gaps is about tens of microseconds, and the response becomes slower as the defect explodes.
Keywords: biaxial transition; topological defect; eigenvalue exchange; response time biaxial transition; topological defect; eigenvalue exchange; response time
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Zhou, X.; Zhang, Z. Dynamics of Order Reconstruction in a Nanoconfined Nematic Liquid Crystal with a Topological Defect. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 24135-24153.

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