Large Colloids in Cholesteric Liquid Crystals

K. Stratford, A. Gray, J. S. Lintuvuori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We describe a coarse-grained Landau-de Gennes model of liquid crystals (LCs) including hydrodynamics based on the Beris–Edwards equations. The model is employed to study the impact of large colloids on the long range LC defect structure in the cholesteric LC blue phases. ‘Large’ here means that the particle size is comparable to the cholesteric pitch, the length scale on which the LC order undergoes a helical twist. We investigate the case of a single particle, with either normal or degenerate planar anchoring, placed initially in an equilibrium blue phase LC. It is found that in some cases, well defined steady disclination structure emerges at the particle surface, while in other cases no clear steady state is reached in the simulations, and disclination reorganisation appears to proliferate through the bulk LC. These systems are of potential interest in the context of using LCs to template self-assembly of colloid structure, e.g., for opto-electronic devices. Computationally, we demonstrate a parallel approach using mixed message-passing and threaded model on graphical processing units allows effective and efficient progress for this problem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1496-1507
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Statistical Physics
Issue number6
Early online date18 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • Colloids
  • Liquid crystals
  • Simulation

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