Molecular organization of n-cyanobiphenyl liquid crystals on a molybdenite surface

Dumon, Alexandre Samuel (2013) Molecular organization of n-cyanobiphenyl liquid crystals on a molybdenite surface. [Laurea magistrale], Università di Bologna, Corso di Studio in Advanced spectroscopy in chemistry [LM-DM270]
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The alignement and anchoring of liquid crystals on solid surfaces is a key problem for modern device technology that until now has been treated empirically, but that can now be tackled by atomistic computer simulations. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were used in this thesis work to study two films of 7 and 8 n-alkyl-4’cyanobiphenyl (7CB and 8CB) liquid crystals , with a thickness of 15 nm, confined between two (001) surfaces of MoS2 (molybdenite). The isotropic and nematic phases of both liquid crystals were simulated, and the resulting structures characterized structurally. A new force field was designed to model the interactions between the liquid crystal (LC) molecules and the surface of molybdenite, while an accurate force field developed previously was used to model the 7CB and 8CB molecules. The results show that the (001) molybdenite surface induces a planar orientation in both the liquid crystals. For the nematic phase of 8CB, one of the two solid/LC interfaces is composed of a first layer of molecules aligned parallel to the surface, followed by a second layer of molecules aligned perpendicular to the surface (also called, homeotropic). The effect of the surface appears to be local in nature as it is confined to the first 15 Angström of the LC film. Conversely, for the nematic phase of 7CB, a planar ordering is established into the LC film. The LC molecules at the interface with the molybdenite appear to align preferentially their alkyl chains toward the solid substrate. The resulting tilt angle of molecules was found to be in good agreement with experimental measurements available in literature. Despite the fact that the MD simulations spanned a time range of more than 100 ns, the nematic phases of both 7CB and 8CB were found not to be completely formed. In order to confirm the findings presented in this thesis, we propose to extend the current study.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di laurea (Laurea magistrale)
Autore della tesi
Dumon, Alexandre Samuel
Relatore della tesi
Correlatore della tesi
Corso di studio
Ordinamento Cds
Parole chiave
liquid crystals, molecular dynamics, anchoring, molybdenite
Data di discussione della Tesi
26 Luglio 2013

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