Minimizers of the Landau–de Gennes Energy Around a Spherical Colloid Particle Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • We consider energy minimizing configurations of a nematic liquid crystal around a spherical colloid particle, in the context of the Landau-de Gennes model. The nematic is assumed to occupy the exterior of a ball of radius r_0, satisfy homeotropic weak anchoring at the surface of the colloid, and approach a uniform uniaxial state at infinity. We study the minimizers in two different limiting regimes: for balls which are small compared to the characteristic length scale r_0<>L. The relationship between the radius and the anchoring strength W is also relevant. For small balls we obtain a limiting quadrupolar configuration, with a "Saturn ring" defect for relatively strong anchoring, corresponding to an exchange of eigenvalues of the Q-tensor. In the limit of very large balls we obtain an axisymmetric minimizer of the Oseen-Frank energy, and a dipole configuration with exactly one point defect is obtained.

publication date

  • October 2016