Orientational wetting and capillary nematization of hard-rod fluids
H. H. Wills Physics Laboratory, University of Bristol - Bristol BS8 1TL, UK
Accepted: 26 November 1999
We investigate the phase behavior of colloidal hard-rod fluids near a single wall and confined in a slit pore. Zwanzig's hard-rod model is analyzed by minimization of a free energy functional, and a system of freely rotating spherocylinders is studied by Monte Carlo simulations. Both theory and simulation show i) a wall-induced surface transition from uniaxial to biaxial symmetry, ii) complete orientational wetting of the wall-isotropic fluid interface by a nematic film, and iii) capillary nematization, with a capillary critical point, induced by confinement in the slit pore.
PACS: 64.60.Cn – Order-disorder transformations; statistical mechanics of model systems / 64.70.Md – Transitions in liquid crystals / 68.45.Gd – Wetting
© EDP Sciences, 2000