Ordinary nematic liquid crystals are characterized by having a uniform director field as ground state. In such a state, the director is the same everywhere and no distortion is to be seen at all. We give a definition of uniform distortion which makes precise the intuitive notion of seeing everywhere the same director landscape. We characterize all such distortions and prove that they fall into two families, each described by two scalar parameters. Uniform distortions exhaust R. Meyer’s heliconical structures, which, as it has recently been recognized, include the ground state of twist-bend nematics. The generalized elasticity of these new phases is treated with a simple free-energy density, which can be minimized by both uniform and nonuniform distortions, the latter injecting a germ of elastic frustration.

Uniform distortions and generalized elasticity of liquid crystals

Virga, Epifanio G.
2019-01-01

Abstract

Ordinary nematic liquid crystals are characterized by having a uniform director field as ground state. In such a state, the director is the same everywhere and no distortion is to be seen at all. We give a definition of uniform distortion which makes precise the intuitive notion of seeing everywhere the same director landscape. We characterize all such distortions and prove that they fall into two families, each described by two scalar parameters. Uniform distortions exhaust R. Meyer’s heliconical structures, which, as it has recently been recognized, include the ground state of twist-bend nematics. The generalized elasticity of these new phases is treated with a simple free-energy density, which can be minimized by both uniform and nonuniform distortions, the latter injecting a germ of elastic frustration.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1287451
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