Condensed Matter Physics, 2014, vol. 17, No. 4, 44001
Novel morphologies for laterally decorated metaparticles: molecular dynamics simulation
(National University "Lviv Polytechnic", 12 Bandera St., 79013 Lviv, Ukraine)
(Institute for Condensed Matter Physics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, 1 Svientsitskii St., 79011 Lviv, Ukraine)
We consider a mesoscale model for nano-sized metaparticles (MPs) composed of a central sphere decorated by polymer chains with laterally attached spherocylinder. The latter mimics the mesogenic (e.g., cyanobiphenyl) group. Molecular dynamics simulations of 100 MPs reveal the existence of two novel morphologies: uColh (hexagonal columnar arrangement of MPs with strong uniaxial order of LC groups collinear to the columns axis) and wColh (the same arrangement of MPs but with weak or no LC order). Collinearity of the LC director and the columnar axis in uColh morphology indicates its potentially different opto-mechanical response to an external perturbation as compared to the columnar phase for the terminally attached LC groups. Preliminary analysis of the structures of both phases is performed by studying the order parameters and by visualisation of the MPs arrangements. Different mechanisms for the LC groups reorientation are pointed out for the cases of their terminal and lateral attachment.
nanoparticles, liquid crystals, self-assembly, molecular dynamics
02.70.Ns, 61.30.Vx, 61.30.Cz, 61.30.Gd