Computer simulation of liquid crystals

Prabal K Maiti, V Arun Kumar, K G Ayappa


In this article we review the current status in the modelling of both thermotropic and lyotropic Liquid crystal. We discuss various coarse-graining schemes as well as simulation techniques such as Monte Carlo (MC) and Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. In the area of MC simulations we discuss in detail the algorithm for simulating hard objects such as spherocylinders of various aspect ratios where excluded volume interaction enters in the simulation through overlap test. We use this technique to study the phase diagram, of a special class of thermotropic liquid crystals namely banana liquid crystals. Next we discuss a coarse-grain model of surfactant molecules and study the self-assembly of the surfactant oligomers using MD simulations. Finally we discuss an atomistically informed coarse-grained description of the lipid molecules used to study the gel to liquid crystalline phase transition in the lipid bilayer system.

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