Theory and computer simulation of bent-core molecules

Philip J. Camp*, Michael P. Allen, Andrew J. Masters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fluids of hard bent-core molecules have been studied using theory and computer simulation. The molecules are composed of two hard spherocylinders, with length-to-breadth ratio L/D, joined by their ends at an angle 180°-γ. For L/D=2 and γ=0,10,20°, the simulations show isotropic, nematic, smectic, and solid phases. For L/D =2 and γ=30°, only isotropic, nematic, and solid phases are in evidence, which suggests that there is a nematic-smectic-solid triple point at an angle in the range 20°<γ<30°. In all of the orientationally ordered fluid phases the order is purely uniaxial. For γ=10° and 20°, at the studied densities, the solid is also uniaxially ordered, whilst for γ=30° the solid layers are biaxially ordered. For L/D=2 and γ=60° and 90° we find no spontaneous orientational ordering. This is shown to be due to the interlocking of dimer pairs which precludes alignment. We find similar results for L/D=9.5 and γ=72°, where an isotropic-biaxial nematic transition is predicted by Onsager theory. Simulations in the biaxial nematic phase show it to be at least mechanically stable with respect to the isotropic phase, however. We have compared the quasi-exact simulation results in the isotropic phase with the predicted equations of state from three theories: the virial expansion containing the second and third virial coefficients; the Parsons-Lee equation of state; an application of Wertheim's theory of associating fluids in the limit of infinite attractive association energy. For all of the molecule elongations and geometries we have simulated, the Wertheim theory proved to be the most accurate. Interestingly, the isotropic equation of state is virtually independent of the dimer bond angle - a feature that is also reflected in the lack of variation with angle of the calculated second and third virial coefficients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9871-9881
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1999


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