Shape, chirality and internal order of freely suspended nematic nanodroplets

D Vanzo and M Ricci and R Berardi and C Zannoni, SOFT MATTER, 8, 11790-11800 (2012).

DOI: 10.1039/c2sm27114a

We investigate the properties of freely suspended nematic nanodroplets of increasing size formed by elongated Gay-Berne mesogens, using extensive molecular dynamics simulations. We find that the nanodroplets have an elongated shape with an aspect ratio changing with size and that in the 50-100 nm size range (N approximate to 50 000-100 000 particles) they show a spontaneous symmetry breaking of the surface bipolar director field into a twisted pattern, whose chirality we quantify with a specific index. The droplets are found to be inhomogeneous in terms, e.g. of the local orientational order, and a detailed description of their internal and interfacial structure is given.

Return to Publications page