ICAMS / Interdisciplinary Centre for Advanced Materials Simulation


Two-dimensional chiral model for liquid crystals, bent hard needles: a Monte Carlo simulation

J. Peón, J. Saucedo-Zugazagoitia, F. Pucheta-Mendez, R.A. Perusquía, G. Sutmann, J. Quintana.

Journal of Chemical Physics, 125, 104908, (2006)


The liquid crystalline behavior of a two dimensional (2D) model of hard needles bent into a "zigzag shape" is studied. This model, originally designed to study two dimensional chiral segregation, also shows liquid crystalline behavior and has some anomalous features which are contrasted in relation to the following: (i) Most of the microscopical models used to study liquid crystals have a symmetry axis that coincides with a molecular axis; (ii) in three-dimensions, chiral molecules can form cholesteric instead of nematic phases; (iii) the smectic phase is usually found when attractions are present or at least when the molecules have finite volume. Despite the fact that the present 2D model does not have any of these characteristics, numerical evidence is found for the occurrence of nematic and smectic phases. Since these molecules are athermal, infinitely repulsive, and infinitesimally thin, the liquid crystalline characteristics are attributed to excluded volume effects. To determine the mesophases of the model, both nematic and smectic order parameters as well as distribution functions are computed.

Keyword(s): nematic liquid crystals; smectic liquid crystals; chirality; Monte Carlo methods; segregation
DOI: 10.1063/1.2338313
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