We investigate the orientation profile and the structure of topological defects of a nematic liquid crystal around a spherical particle using an adaptive mesh refinement scheme developed by us previously. The previous work [J. Fukuda et al., Phys. Rev. E 65, 041709 (2002)] was devoted to the investigation of the fine structure of a hyperbolic hedgehog defect that the particle accompanies and in this paper we present the equilibrium profile of the Saturn ring configuration. The radius of the Saturn ring r d in units of the particle radius R 0 increases weakly with the increase of ξ , the ratio of the nematic coherence length to R 0. Next we discuss the energetic stability of a hedgehog and a Saturn ring. The use of adaptive mesh refinement scheme together with a tensor orientational order parameter Qαβ allows us to calculate the elastic energy of a nematic liquid crystal without any assumption of the structure and the energy of the defect core as in the previous similar studies. The reduced free energy of a nematic liquid crystal, F̄ = F/L1 R0 , with L 1 being the elastic constant, is almost independent of ξ in the hedgehog configuration, while it shows a logarithmic dependence in the Saturn ring configuration. This result clearly indicates that the energetic stability of a hedgehog to a Saturn ring for a large particle is definitely attributed to the large defect energy of the Saturn ring with a large radius.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Surfaces and Interfaces