Europhys. Lett.
Volume 64, Number 3, November 2003
Page(s) 406 - 412
Section Interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology
Published online 01 November 2003
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2003-00217-9
Europhys. Lett., 64 (3) , pp. 406-412 (2003)

Rheology of distorted nematic liquid crystals

D. Marenduzzo1, E. Orlandini2 and J. M. Yeomans1

1  Department of Physics, Theoretical Physics - 1 Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3NP, UK
2  INFM, Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Padova Via Marzolo 8, 35131 Padova, Italy

(Received 2 June 2003; accepted in final form 20 August 2003)

We use lattice Boltzmann simulations of the Beris-Edwards formulation of nematodynamics to probe the response of a nematic liquid crystal with conflicting anchoring at the boundaries under shear and Poiseuille flow. The geometry we focus on is that of the hybrid aligned nematic (HAN) cell, common in devices. In the nematic phase, backflow effects resulting from the elastic distortion in the director field render the velocity profile strongly non-Newtonian and asymmetric. As the transition to the isotropic phase is approached, these effects become progressively weaker. If the fluid is heated just above the transition point, however, another asymmetry appears, in the dynamics of shear band formation.

83.80.Xz - Liquid crystals: nematic, cholesteric, smectic, discotic, etc.
47.50.+d - Non-Newtonian fluid flows.

© EDP Sciences 2003