Non-uniformities in polymer/liquid crystal mixtures I. Interfacial tension

A Matsuyama, R M L Evans, M E Cates

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We theoretically study interfacial properties between two coexisting phases in mixtures of a flexible polymer and a low-molecular-weight liquid crystal. By numerically solving Euler equations for compositional and orientational order parameter fields, we calculate the order parameter profiles and interfacial tensions for nematic-isotropic and isotropic-isotropic phase equilibria. We find that the order parameter profiles are non-monotonic at some temperatures. The nematic-isotropic interfacial tension increases with decreasing temperature and is approximately proportional to (T - T-NI)(n) at temperatures below the nematic-isotropic transition temperature (TNI) of the pure nematogen. The value of the exponent n is strongly affected, by the existence of a triple point.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-87
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean physical journal e
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2002

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