We consider nematic liquid crystals in a bounded, convex polyhedron described by a director field n(r) subject to tangent boundary conditions. We derive lower bounds for the one-constant elastic energy in terms of topological invariants. For a right rectangular prism and a large class of topologies, we derive upper bounds by introducing, test configurations constructed from local conformal solutions of the Euler-Lagrange equation. The ratio of the upper and lower bounds depends only on the aspect ratios of the prism. As the aspect ratios are varied, the minimum-energy conformal state undergoes a sharp transition from being smooth to having singularities on the edges.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and General|
|Publication status||Published - 20 Oct 2004|
- elastic energy
- liquid crystals
- convex polyhedra