Modelling spreading dynamics of nematic liquid crystals in three spatial dimensions

Te-Sheng Lin*, L. Kondic, U. Thiele, L. J. Cummings

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

We study spreading dynamics of nematic liquid crystal droplets within the framework of the long-wave approximation. A fourth-order nonlinear parabolic partial differential equation governing the free surface evolution is derived. The influence of elastic distortion energy and of imposed anchoring variations at the substrate are explored through linear stability analysis and scaling arguments, which yield useful insight and predictions for the behaviour of spreading droplets. This behaviour is captured by fully nonlinear time-dependent simulations of three-dimensional droplets spreading in the presence of anchoring variations that model simple defects in the nematic orientation at the substrate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-230
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Volume729
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2013

Keywords

  • interfacial flows (free surface)
  • liquid crystals
  • thin films

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