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Title: Computer simulation of rod-sphere mixtures
Author: Antypov, Dmytro
ISNI:       0000 0001 3425 5050
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2003
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Results are presented from a series of simulations undertaken to investigate the effect of adding small spherical particles to a fluid of rods which would otherwise represent a liquid crystalline (LC) substance. Firstly, a bulk mixture of Hard Gaussian Overlap particles with an aspect ratio of 3:1 and hard spheres with diameters equal to the breadth of the rods is simulated at various sphere concentrations. Both mixing-demixing and isotropic-nematic transition are studied using Monte Carlo techniques. Secondly, the effect of adding Lennard-Jones particles to an LC system modelled using the well established Gay-Berne potential is investigated. These rod-sphere mixtures are simulated using both the original set of interaction parameters and a modified version of the rod-sphere potential proposed in this work. The subject of interest is the internal structure of the binary mixture and its dependence on density, temperature, concentration and various parameters characterising the in-termolecular interactions. Both the mixing-demixing behaviour and the transitions between the isotropic and any LC phases have been studied for four systems which differ in the interaction potential between unlike particles. A range of contrasting microphase separated structures including bicontinuous, cubic, and micelle-like arrangement have been observed in bulk. Thirdly, the four types of mixtures previously studied in bulk are subjected to a static magnetic field. A variety of novel phases are observed for the cases of positive and negative anisotropy in the magnetic susceptibility. These include a lamellar structure, in which layers of rods are separated by layers of spheres, and a configuration with a self-assembling hexagonal array of spheres. Finally, two new models are presented to study liquid crystal mixtures in the presence of curved substrates. These are implemented for the cases of convex and concave spherical surfaces. The simulation results obtained in these geometries indicate segregation of spheres at the topological defect of the director field induced by the surface.
Supervisor: Cleaver, Doug ; Care, Chris Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Liquid crystals