Modeling and simulations of the spreading and destabilization of nematic droplets

L. J. Cummings, T.-S. Lin, L. Kondic
2011 Physics of Fluids  
A series of experiments ͓C. Poulard and A. M. Cazabat, "Spontaneous spreading of nematic liquid crystals," Langmuir 21, 6270 ͑2005͔͒ on spreading droplets of nematic liquid crystal ͑NLC͒ reveals a surprisingly rich variety of behaviors. Small droplets can either be arrested in their spreading, spread stably, destabilize without spreading ͑corrugated surface͒, or spread with a fingering instability and corrugated free surface. In this work, we discuss the problem of NLC drops spreading in a
more » ... ified two-dimensional ͑2D͒ geometry. The model that we present is based on a long-wavelength approach for NLCs by Ben Amar and Cummings ͓"Fingering instabilities in driven thin nematic films," Phys. Fluids 13, 1160 ͑2001͒; L. J. Cummings, "Evolution of a thin film of nematic liquid crystal with anisotropic surface energy," Eur. J. Appl. Math. 15, 651 ͑2004͔͒. The improvements in the model here permit fully nonlinear time-dependent simulations. These simulations, for the appropriate choice of parameter values, exhibit 2D versions of most of the phenomena mentioned above.
doi:10.1063/1.3570863 fatcat:6igyb2flwfcgnn6k6guk2dk7t4