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Engineered liquid crystal nano droplets: insights from multi-scale simulations

Sumer, Z; Fernandez, FA; Striolo, A; (2020) Engineered liquid crystal nano droplets: insights from multi-scale simulations. Nanoscale 10.1039/d0nr04989a. Green open access

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Abstract

Liquid crystal (LC) droplets have been investigated for a wide range of applications, from displays to sensors. Over the years, a need has arisen for complete understanding of the behaviour of LCs in droplets under different conditions for the development of advanced devices, for which accurate modelling is necessary. We show here, for the first time, both qualitative and quantitative agreement between coarse-grained molecular models and Q-tensor theory calculations for liquid crystal (LC) droplets. The approach is demonstrated for two types of droplet surfaces, which possess strong planar degenerate and strong homeotropic anchoring, respectively. Once its reliability has been proven, our approach was used to identify defects due to changes in anchoring in a small region on the LC droplet surface, which could be triggered, for example, by the adsorption of a nano-particle or a protein. Both coarse-grained simulations and Q-tensor analysis show the appearance of defects in well-determined locations within the LC droplet, albeit sometimes affected by degeneracy due to the symmetry of the systems being investigated. These results suggest the possibility of using LC droplets, in the future, as platforms for advanced sensing as well as for signal intensification.

Type: Article
Title: Engineered liquid crystal nano droplets: insights from multi-scale simulations
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1039/d0nr04989a
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1039/d0nr04989a
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. See here for more information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Chemical Engineering
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Electronic and Electrical Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10111710
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