Elastic anisotropy in the reduced Landau-de Gennes model

Yucen Han, Joseph Harris, Apala Majumdar, Lei Zhang

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We study the effects of elastic anisotropy on Landau- de Gennes critical points, for nematic liquid crystals, on a square domain. The elastic anisotropy is captured by a parameter, L2, and the critical points are described by 3 d.f. We analytically construct a symmetric critical point for all admissible values of L2, which is necessarily globally stable for small domains, i.e. when the square edge length, is small enough. We perform asymptotic analyses and numerical studies to discover at least five classes of these symmetric critical points the WORS, Ring , Constant and pWORS solutions, of which the WORS, Ring+ and Constant solutions can be stable. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the novel Constant solution is energetically preferable for large and large L2, and prove associated stability results that corroborate the stabilizing effects of L2 for reduced Landau-de Gennes critical points. We complement our analysis with numerically computed bifurcation diagrams for different values of L2, which illustrate the interplay of elastic anisotropy and geometry for nematic solution landscapes, at low temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2261
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2022


  • elastic anisotropy
  • nematic liquid crystals
  • two-dimensional Landau-de Gennes model
  • Landau-de Gennes critical points


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