We studied the dynamics of isotropic-nematic transitions in liquid crystalline polymers by integrating time-dependent Ginzburg-Landau equations. In a concentrated solution of rodlike polymers, the rotational diffusion constant Dr of the polymer is severely suppressed by the geometrical constraints of the surrounding polymers so that the rodlike molecules diffuse only along their rod directions. In the early stage of phase transition, the rodlike polymers with nearly parallel orientations assemble to form a nematic polydomain. This polydomain pattern, with characteristic length ?, grows with self-similarity in three dimensions over time with an ?~t1/4 scaling law. In the late stage, the rotational diffusion becomes significant, leading to a crossover of the growth exponent from 1/4 to 1/2. This crossover time is estimated to be on the order of t~Dr-1. We also examined the time evolution of a pair of disclinations placed in a confined system by solving the same time-dependent Ginzburg-Landau equations in two dimensions. If the initial distance between the disclinations is shorter than some critical length, they approach and annihilate each other; however, at larger initial separations, they are stabilized.
|Journal||Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 28 2011|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability
- Condensed Matter Physics