Publication Title

Physical Review E

Publication Date

3-17-2010

Document Type

Article

DOI

0.1103/PhysRevE.81.031704

Disciplines

Physics

Abstract

We develop a lattice model for the splay flexoelectric effect in nematic liquid crystals. In this model, each lattice site has a spin representing the local molecular orientation, and the interaction between neighboring spins represents pear-shaped molecules with shape polarity. We perform Monte Carlo simulations and mean-field calculations to find the behavior as a function of interaction parameters, temperature, and applied electric field. The resulting phase diagram has three phases: isotropic, nematic, and polar. In the nematic phase, there is a large splay flexoelectric effect, which diverges as the system approaches the transition to the polar phase. These results show that flexoelectricity can be a statistical phenomenon associated with the onset of polar order.

Comments

Copyright 2010 American Physical Society. Available on publisher's site at http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.81.031704.


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