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Open AccessArticle

Impact of Weak Nanoparticle Induced Disorder on Nematic Ordering

1
Jožef Stefan Institute, Jamova 39, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
2
Faculty of Physics, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Panepistimiopolis, Zografos, 15784 Athens, Greece
3
Institute of High Pressure Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences, ul. Sokolowska 29/37, 01-142 Warsaw, Poland
4
Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, University of Maribor, Koroška 160, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Crystals 2019, 9(3), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst9030171
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 20 March 2019 / Accepted: 22 March 2019 / Published: 24 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Liquid Crystals)
Dilute mixtures of nanoparticles (NPs) and nematic liquid crystals (LCs) are considered. We focus on cases where NPs enforce a relatively weak disorder to the LC host. We use a Lebwohl-Lasher semi-microscopic-type modeling where we assume that NPs effectively act as a spatially-dependent external field on nematic spins. The orientational distribution of locally favoured “easy” orientations is described by a probabilistic distribution function P. By means of a mean field-type approach, we derive a self-consistent equation for the average degree of nematic uniaxial order parameter S as a function of the concentration p of NPs, NP-LC coupling strength and P. Using a simple step-like probability distribution shape, we obtain the S(p) dependence displaying a crossover behaviour between two different regimes which is in line with recent experimental observations. We also discuss a possible origin of commonly observed non-monotonous variations of the nematic-isotropic phase temperature coexistence width on varying p. View Full-Text
Keywords: phase behaviour; weak disorder; orientational order phase behaviour; weak disorder; orientational order
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MDPI and ACS Style

Črešnar, D.; Kyrou, C.; Lelidis, I.; Drozd-Rzoska, A.; Starzonek, S.; Rzoska, S.J.; Kutnjak, Z.; Kralj, S. Impact of Weak Nanoparticle Induced Disorder on Nematic Ordering. Crystals 2019, 9, 171.

AMA Style

Črešnar D, Kyrou C, Lelidis I, Drozd-Rzoska A, Starzonek S, Rzoska SJ, Kutnjak Z, Kralj S. Impact of Weak Nanoparticle Induced Disorder on Nematic Ordering. Crystals. 2019; 9(3):171.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Črešnar, Dejvid; Kyrou, Christina; Lelidis, Ioannis; Drozd-Rzoska, Aleksandra; Starzonek, Szymon; Rzoska, Sylwester J.; Kutnjak, Zdravko; Kralj, Samo. 2019. "Impact of Weak Nanoparticle Induced Disorder on Nematic Ordering" Crystals 9, no. 3: 171.

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