Shape, chirality and internal order of freely suspended nematic nanodroplets
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 ≈ 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.