Manipulation of cholesteric liquid crystal phase behavior and molecular assembly by molecular chirality

L Wu and H Sun, PHYSICAL REVIEW E, 100, 022703 (2019).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.100.022703

Molecular simulation is used to study the effect of molecular chirality on liquid crystalline phase transition and molecular assembly behavior. Based on a flexible chain (FCh) model with helical arrangement of side beads, the phase behavior of FCh models with various molecular chiralities are studied as functions of pressure (or density). By modifying the molecular chirality of FCh, we can manipulate the relative stability of the nematic and cholesteric phases continuously; and we found that increasing molecular chirality may destabilize cholesteric order due to the effective reduction of chiral interactions. A semismectic phase is identified in the high-density region, in which the two-dimensional fluid layers overlap due to shift alignment formed by FCh particles. The global phase diagram of the FCh model is constructed and the potential energy surface is calculated to elucidate the formation of cholesteric phase in terms of two-body interactions.

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