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Monte Carlo simulations of nematic and chiral nematic shells

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Journal Physical Review E
DatePublished - 7 Jan 2015
Issue number1
Volume91
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

We present a systematic Monte Carlo simulation study of thin nematic and cholesteric shells with planar anchoring using an off-lattice model. The results obtained using the simple model correspond with previously published results for lattice-based systems, with the number, type, and position of defects observed dependent on the shell thickness with four half-strength defects in a tetrahedral arrangement found in very thin shells and a pair of defects in a bipolar (boojum) configuration observed in thicker shells. A third intermediate defect configuration is occasionally observed for intermediate thickness shells, which is stabilized in noncentrosymmetric shells of nonuniform thickness. Chiral nematic (cholesteric) shells are investigated by including a chiral term in the potential. Decreasing the pitch of the chiral nematic leads to a twisted bipolar (chiral boojum) configuration with the director twist increasing from the inner to the outer surface.

    Research areas

  • nematic, chiral nematic, shells, spherical surfaces

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