Free Boundary-Value Problems for Liquid Crystals
Seminar Room 1, Newton Institute
AbstractWe discuss modelling strategies for free boundary-value problems arising in liquid crystal applications. We have recently modelled stable liquid crystal patterns in shallow cuboid-shaped nematic wells and have computed phase diagrams as a function of geometrical aspect ratio and anchoring strength on well boundaries. Recent work by Telo da Gama group (CFTC, Lisbon) shows that our computed patterns are also relevant to wedge-shaped nematic-filled wells at the isotropic-nematic transition temperature. At the isotropic-nematic transition temperature, the isotropic and nematic phases are separated by a free boundary, depending on the geometry and the surface effects at play. We discuss modelling approaches to this free-boundary problem and the role of such free boundaries in applications. This is joint work with Chong Luo, Samo Kralj and Samo Kralj.
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