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Breno F de Oliveira, Pedro P Avelino, Fernando Moraes, and Joana CRE Oliveira (2010)

Nematic liquid crystal dynamics under applied electric fields

In this paper we investigate the coarsening dynamics of liquid crystal textures in a two-dimensional nematic under applied electric fields, using numerical simulations performed using a publicly available liquid crystal algorithm developed by the authors. We consider both positive and negative dielectric anisotropies and two different possibilities for the orientation of the electric field (parallel and perpendicular to the two-dimensional lattice). We determine the effect of an applied electric field pulse on the evolution of the characteristic length scale and other properties of the liquid crystal texture network. In particular, we show that different types of defects are produced after the electric field is switched on, depending on the orientation of the electric field and the sign of the dielectric anisotropy.