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Free energy pathways of a Multistable Liquid Crystal Device

Kusumaatmaja, H.; Majumdar, A.

Free energy pathways of a Multistable Liquid Crystal Device Thumbnail


A. Majumdar


The planar bistable device [Tsakonas et al., Appl. Phys. Lett., 2007, 90, 111913] is known to have two distinct classes of stable equilibria: the diagonal and rotated solutions. We model this device within the two-dimensional Landau-de Gennes theory, with a surface potential and without any external fields. We systematically compute a special class of transition pathways, referred to as minimum energy pathways, between the stable equilibria that provide new information about how the equilibria are connected in the Landau-de Gennes free energy landscape. These transition pathways exhibit an intermediate transition state, which is a saddle point of the Landau-de Gennes free energy. We numerically compute the structural details of the transition states, the optimal transition pathways and the free energy barriers between the equilibria, as a function of the surface anchoring strength. For strong anchoring, the transition pathways are mediated by defects whereas we get defect-free transition pathways for moderate and weak anchoring. In the weak anchoring limit, we recover a cusp catastrophe situation for which the rotated state acts as a transition state connecting two different diagonal states.


Kusumaatmaja, H., & Majumdar, A. (2015). Free energy pathways of a Multistable Liquid Crystal Device. Soft Matter, 11(24), 4809-4817.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 11, 2015
Publication Date Jun 28, 2015
Deposit Date May 16, 2015
Publicly Available Date May 27, 2015
Journal Soft Matter
Print ISSN 1744-683X
Electronic ISSN 1744-6848
Publisher Royal Society of Chemistry
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 24
Pages 4809-4817
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