Nematic and smectic ordering in a system of two-dimensional hard zigzag particles

Szabolcs Varga, Ṕter Gurin, Julio C. Armas-Ṕrez, Jacqueline Quintana-H

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19 Citations (Scopus)


The orientational and positional ordering of the two-dimensional system of hard zigzag particles has been investigated by means of Onsager theory. Analytical results are obtained for the transition densities of the isotropic-nematic and the nematic-smectic phase transitions. It is shown that the stability of the nematic and smectic phases is very sensitive to the molecular shape. In the hard needle limit, only the isotropic-nematic phase transition takes place, while increasing the tail length and the bent angle between the central core and the tails destabilizes the nematic phase. On the other hand the stability of the smectic phase is due to the increasing excluded area cost with bent angle and the tail length. The zigzag particles pack in a layered structure such that they are tilted and form semi-ideal gas in the layers to push the high cost excluded area regions into the interstitial regions. The predictions of Onsager theory are in good agreement with MC simulation data.

Original languageEnglish
Article number184901
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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