Volume 86, Number 4, May 2009
Article Number 46006
Number of page(s) 5
Section Condensed Matter: Structural, Mechanical and Thermal Properties
Published online 03 June 2009
EPL, 86 (2009) 46006
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/86/46006

Formation and kinetics of transient metastable states in mixtures under coupled phase ordering and chemical demixing

E. R. Soulé1 and A. D. Rey2

1   Institute of Materials Science and Technology (INTEMA), University of Mar del Plata and National Research Council (CONICET) - J. B. Justo 4302, 7600 Mar del Plata, Argentina
2   Department of Chemical Engineering, McGill University - Montreal, Quebec H3A 2B2, Canada

received 27 February 2009; accepted in final form 28 April 2009; published May 2009
published online 3 June 2009

We present theory and simulation of simultaneous chemical demixing and phase ordering in a polymer–liquid-crystal mixture in conditions where isotropic-isotropic phase separation is metastable with respect to isotropic-nematic phase transition. It is found that mesophase formation proceeds by a transient metastable phase that surround the ordered phase, and whose lifetime is a function of the ratio of diffusional-to-orientational mobilities. It is shown that kinetic phase ordering in polymer-mesogen mixtures is analogous to kinetic crystallization in polymer solutions.

64.60.Bd - General theory of phase transitions.
64.60.My - Metastable phases. - Theory and modeling of specific liquid crystal transitions, including computer simulation.

© EPLA 2009