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Title: A molecular dynamics study of liquid crystal mixtures
Author: Bemrose, Richard Antony
ISNI:       0000 0001 3457 0691
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 1999
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Results are presented from molecular dynamics simulations of binary liquid crystal mixtures using a generalisation of a well established Gay-Berne intermolecular potential. The simulations are undertaken in both the microcanonical (NVE) and the isoenthalpic-isobaric (NPH) ensembles. Firstly a 50:50 mixed system is simulated in the NVE ensemble containing generalised Gay-Berne (GGB) rod-like molecules with length to breadth axial ratios of 3.5:1 (molecules A) and 3:1 (molecules B). The molecules in this system differs only slightly from the well-characterised Gay-Berne (GB) potential with length to breadth ratio of 3:1. It is shown that the system exhibits isotropic (/), nematic (N) and smectic-B (SmB) phases with both the I-N and N-SmB phase boundaries not clearly defined. Competition between two density waves parallel to the director of the same wavelength but different phase lead to a pre-smectic ordering preceding the N-SmB phase transition. The longer molecules are shown to have a consistently higher order parameter the difference being greatest in the nematic phase and decrease with lowering temperature. Although a degree of local ordering is shown within each smectic layer the smectic phase is fully commensurate. Secondly, phase behaviour diagrams are presented from a series of constant-NPH simulations over a range of pressures and concentrations. The binary mixtures exhibit a rich phase behaviour, displaying isotropic, nematic, smectic-A (SmA), induced smectic-A and smectic-B phases depending on the choice of pressure and concentration. It is shown that the temperature range over which the nematic phase is stable can be extended greater than either homogeneous system by elevating the system pressure and/or by choice of concentration, agreeing with experimental results. The mixture exhibits a stable SmA island at a mole fraction of xa = 0.50 depending on the choice of pressure and a narrow induced SmA phase at xa = 0.25.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Binary; Gay-Berne; Smectic; Phase behaviour