AbstractLiquid crystals have received substantial research interest over the last century, especially when their beneficial applications such as liquid crystal displays were realised and developed. The changes to the molecular structure of liquid crystals can have a significant effect upon their synthesis and ferroelectric properties. In this thesis, we investigate several aspects of the behaviour of liquid crystal molecules near interfaces using mathematical models and numerical integration. In particular,we predict the behaviour of the physical system for smectic liquid crystals. Smectic liquid crystals are considered in various geometries including planar (Cartesian), cylindrical (i.e. polar) and spherical layered structures in uniform and irregularly contrasted domains. In these cases, strong and weak director anchoring at the boundaries is applied.
The reorientation of the liquid crystal layering structure is predicted through the minimization of energy functions by constructing and solving the corresponding Euler-Lagrange coupled partial differential equations commonly found in mathematical physics. It is anticipated that these solutions will provide information for experimentalists concerning the special phenomena found in liquid crystals, potentially leading to new technologies in science and industry, for example in optical devices and bio-medicine. Moreover, the mathematics that describes smectic liquid crystals is similar to that of bi-layer lipid membranes. Consequently, this research could have applications in drug delivery and possibly even in biosensors.
|Date of Award||12 Feb 2019|
|Supervisor||Graeme Boswell (Supervisor), Paul Roach (Supervisor) & Alan Walker (Supervisor)|