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Zhidk. krist. ikh prakt. ispol'z. = Liq. Cryst. and their Appl., 2013, 4, 24—33.
Influence of Spherical Nanoparticles on The Ordering and Phase Transtions in Nematic Liquid Crystals
N. V. Kalinin, A. V. Emelyanenko
Author affiliations Department of Polymer and Crystal Physics, Faculty of Physics,
Lomonosov Moscow State University,
Leninskiye Gory, 1-2, 119991 Moscow, Russia. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract A molecular-statistical theory describing nematic complexes with nanoparticles is proposed. The influence of anisotropic properties of the nanoparticle surface as well as the curvature of nanoparticles on the nematic order parameter in the liquid crystal surrounding the nanoparticle is investigated. The order parameters and elastic constants are evaluated in the framework of a unified approach based on the consideration of symmetry features of the pair interaction potential of individual liquid crystal molecules. The two-step transformation from nematic phase containing nanoparticles into isotropic liquid on heating was explained. It was shown that unlike the case of flat surfaces, a transition from nematic phase to isotropic liquid state near the strongly curved surface (the first stage) occurs at lower temperatures than the transition in the volume of the liquid crystal (the second stage). The molecular parameters responsible for the change of the nematic order parameter as well as the width of the temperature interval between transitions are determined for these transitions.