Landau theory for biaxial nematic liquid crystals with two order parameter tensors

Giovanni De Matteis, André Sonnet, Epifanio Virga

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    30 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    We present a phenomenological theory for the homogeneous phases of nematic liquid crystals constituted by biaxial molecules. We propose a general polynomial potential in two macroscopic order parameter tensors that reproduces the mean-field phase diagram confirmed by Monte Carlo simulations [De Matteis et al. in Phys Rev E 72:041706 (2005)] and recently recognized to be universal [Bisi et al. in Phys Rev E 73:051709 (2006)] for dispersion force molecular pair-potentials enjoying the D 2h symmetry. The requirement that the phenomenological theory comply uniquely with this phase diagram reduces considerably the admissible phenomenological coefficients, both in their number and in the ranges where they can vary.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)347-374
    JournalContinuum Mechanics and Thermodynamics
    Volume20
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2008

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