Nematic Order Reconstruction Solutions for Square Wells in the Landau-de Gennes theory

Apala Majumdar
University of Bath

We report a novel two-dimensional order reconstruction solution for nematic liquid crystals, in the Landau-de Gennes theoretical framework, found in square wells. This order reconstruction (OR) solution exists for all well sizes. We provide an analytic description of the OR solution at a special temperature below the nematic supercooling temperature and demonstrate that the OR solution exhibits an uniaxial cross connecting the four square vertices for small wells, complemented by an asymptotic description for large wells in terms of a well-known Gamma-Convergence result for the Modica-Mortola functional. We derive analytic stability criteria for the OR solution in terms of the well size and prove instability with respect to symmetry-breaking perturbations for large wells. Our analytic work is complemented by parallel numerical simulations.

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