Inducement by directional fields of rotational and translational phase ordering in polymer liquid-crystals

A. AlSunaidi, W.K. den Otter, J.H.R. Clark

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    Abstract

    The effects of aligning fields on models of polymer liquid crystals were simulated using the dissipative particle dynamics method. Exposing a liquid crystal of rod-like particles to a directional field causes a stabilization of the phases with orientational order, shifts the isotropic-nematic and nematic-smectic-A phase transitions to higher temperatures, makes the transitions continuous beyond a critical field strength, and induces weak para-nematic alignment in the zero-field isotropic phase. The interplay of liquid-crystalline ordering, microphase separation, and an alignment field endows the diblock and triblock copolymers studied here with rich phase behavior. The simulations suggest that field-induced orientational ordering can give rise to positional ordering. Reversely, positional ordering resulting from rod-coil demixing may be accompanied by orientational ordering, which is enhanced by external fields. For highly asymmetric rod-coil copolymers, the microphase separation pattern formed by the rigid segments can be altered by an aligning field.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number154904
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of chemical physics
    Volume138
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2013

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