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Modelling the chemically induced liquid crystalline phases in mixtures of disc-shaped mesogens: the phase diagram of quadrupolar Gay-Berne discs revisited

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DatePublished - Feb 2003
Issue number2
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)181-190
Original languageEnglish


We investigate the phase behaviour of pure systems and mixtures of quadrupolar Gay-Berne discs. The interaction potential mimics that of disc-shaped molecules which exhibit chemically induced phases with a structure based on columns of alternately stacking species. The phase diagram of the pure system is determined over a range of pressures, and the phase sequence is shown to include tilted columnar and nematic phases. The mixtures, in which the species have equal but opposite quadrupole moments, are investigated over a range of pressures using semigrand canonical simulations, such that the composition of the system is allowed to change. The fact that the composition is not fixed is especially important at the phase transitions, where the compositions of the coexisting phases may not necessarily be the same. In this situation, preparation of a system in the 'biphasic region' will lead to phase separation into the two distinct phases of differing compositions. The resulting phase diagram obtained using semigrand canonical simulations indicates that the columnar nematic phase observed in previous fixed composition simulations of this model [Liq. Cryst., 24, 229 (1998)] is not stable with respect to phase separation into an isotropic phase rich in a single component and a hexagonal columnar phase composed of roughly equal quantities of the two components. The structure of the columnar phase for the mixture is shown to be based on the alternate stacking of the different species. The relative concentrations of the different species in this phase may deviate up to approximately 60:40 mol %, after which any further material added will separate into the pure isotropic state.

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