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Title: Computer simulation of confined and flexoelectric liquid crystalline systems
Author: Barmes, F.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3445 5642
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2003
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In this Thesis, systems of confined and flexoelectric liquid crystal systems have been studied using molecular computer simulations. The aim of this work was to provide a molecular model of a bistable display cell in which switching is induced through the application of directional electric field pulses. In the first part of this Thesis, the study of confined systems of liquid crystalline particles has been addressed. Computation of the anchoring phase diagrams for three different surface interaction models showed that the hard needle wall and rod-surface potentials induce both planar and homeotropic alignment separated by a bistability region, this being stronger and wider for the rod-surface varant. The results obtained using the rod-sphere surface model, in contrast, showed that tilted surface arrangements can be induced by surface absorption mechanisms. Equivalent studies of hybrid anchored systems showed that a bend director structure can be obtained in a slab with monostable homeotropic anchoring at the top surface and bistable anchoring at the bottom, provided that the slab height is sufficiently large and the top homeotropic anchoring is not too strong. In the second part of the Thesis, the development of models for tapered (pear-shaped) mesogens has been addressed. The first model considered, the truncated Stone expansion model, proved to be unsuccessful in that it did not display liquid crystalline phases. This drawback was then overcome using the alternative parametric hard Gaussian overlap model which was found to display a much richer phase behaviour. With a molecular elongation k = 5, both nematic and interdig-itated smectic A2 phases were obtained. In the final part of this Thesis, the knowledge acquired from the two previous studies was united in an attempt to model a bistable display cell. Switching between the hybrid aligned nematic and vertical states of the cell was successfully performed using pear shaped particles with both dielectric and dipolar couplings to an applied field. Also, a parameter window was identified, for values of the electric field, dielectric susceptibility and dipole moment, for which directional switching is achievable between the bistable states.
Supervisor: Cleaver, Douglas ; Care, Chris ; Zannoni, Claudio Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Solid-state physics