Volume 100, Number 6, December 2012
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Condensed Matter: Structural, Mechanical and Thermal Properties|
|Published online||09 January 2013|
Confined chiral polymer nematics: Ordering and spontaneous condensation
1 Department of Physics, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, University of Ljubljana SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU
2 Department of Theoretical Physics, J. Stefan Institute - SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU
3 Department of Physics, University of Massachusetts - Amherst, MA 01003, USA
Received: 12 October 2012
Accepted: 27 November 2012
We investigate condensation of a long confined chiral nematic polymer inside a spherical enclosure, mimicking condensation of DNA inside a viral capsid. The Landau-de Gennes nematic free-energy Ansatz appropriate for nematic polymers allows us to study the condensation process in detail with different boundary conditions at the enclosing wall that simulate repulsive and attractive polymer-surface interactions. By increasing the chirality, we observe a transformation of the toroidal condensate into a closed surface with an increasing genus, in some respects akin to the ordered domain formation observed in cryo-microscopy of bacteriophages.
PACS: 61.30.Pq – Microconfined liquid crystals: droplets, cylinders, randomly confined liquid crystals, polymer dispersed liquid crystals, and porous systems / 61.30.Vx – Polymer liquid crystals / 61.30.Jf – Defects in liquid crystals
© EPLA, 2012
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