Modeling free surface flow of nematic liquid crystal

Linda Cummings
New Jersey Institute of Technology

We present a general model for 3D free surface flow of nematic liquid crystal over a substrate, based on the Ericksen-Leslie continuum description. The model can account for spatially-varying strong anchoring at the substrate, and weak or strong conical anchoring at the free surface, in addition to the effects of surface tension, gravity and/or van der Waals' intermolecular forces. We find that the model can give rise to a wide range of behavior depending on the physical parameter regime, including spontaneous free surface instability, pattern formation, and dewetting. Model simulation results in 3D and 2D are presented and discussed, suggesting future research directions.

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