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Issue 7, 2011
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Relaxation dynamics in the columnar liquid crystal phase of hard platelets

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Abstract

We perform Monte Carlo simulations to analyze the equilibrium dynamics and the long-time structural relaxation decay of columnar liquid crystals of disk-like colloidal particles. In the wake of recent studies on the columnar mesophase of hard calamitic (rod-like) colloids, we now focus on the diffusion of their discotic counterparts, here modeled as oblate hard spherocylinders. These systems exhibit a non-Gaussian column-to-column diffusion due to the combined action of transient cages and periodic free-energy barriers. We find that at fixed packing fraction the barrier height increases with decreasing particle thickness, resulting into a more heterogeneous and non-Gaussian dynamics for thinner platelets, and reducing the inter-column diffusion coefficient. Moreover, we observe the characteristic two-step relaxation decay of the structure in the plane perpendicular to the column axis. By contrast, the in-column dynamics is similar to the typical single-file diffusion of one-dimensional dense fluids, with a relatively fast decay of the correlation functions.

Graphical abstract: Relaxation dynamics in the columnar liquid crystal phase of hard platelets

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Publication details

The article was received on 05 Nov 2010, accepted on 13 Jan 2011 and first published on 16 Feb 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0SM01265C
Citation: Soft Matter, 2011,7, 3533-3545
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    Relaxation dynamics in the columnar liquid crystal phase of hard platelets

    A. Patti, S. Belli, R. van Roij and M. Dijkstra, Soft Matter, 2011, 7, 3533
    DOI: 10.1039/C0SM01265C

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