Extending the Maier-Saupe theory to cybotactic nematics

S. Droulias, A.G. Vanakaras, D.J. Photinos,  Liquid Crystals37:6, 969-976, (2010). e-Reprint
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02678292.2010.488819

Abstract: A theory of thermotropic nematic liquid crystals in which molecules form internally ordered clusters is presented. The formulation is based on the same mean field approximation and form of the anisotropic potential used in the Maier-Saupe theory. A uniaxial nematic and two macroscopically isotropic phases are predicted. One of the isotropic phases consists of thermodynamically stable clusters with internal orientational order. The nematic phase shows cybotactic order throughout its range of stability. This order persists above the transition temperature, either as a stable feature or as a pretransitional effect. The values of the order parameter and of the entropy change at the nematic to isotropic phase transition depend on the size of the clusters. The Maier-Saupe theory is obtained in the limit of extremely large or extremely small clusters.

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