Landau–de Gennes theory of nematic liquid crystals: the Oseen–Frank limit and beyond

Apala Majumdar, Arghir Zarnescu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

170 Citations (Scopus)


We study global minimizers of a continuum Landau–De Gennes energy functional for nematic liquid crystals, in three-dimensional domains, subject to uniaxial boundary conditions. We analyze the physically relevant limit of small elastic constant and show that global minimizers converge strongly, in W1,2, to a global minimizer predicted by the Oseen–Frank theory for uniaxial nematic liquid crystals with constant order parameter. Moreover, the convergence is uniform in the interior of the domain, away from the singularities of the limiting Oseen–Frank global minimizer. We obtain results on the rate of convergence of the eigenvalues and the regularity of the eigenvectors of the Landau–De Gennes global minimizer. We also study the interplay between biaxiality and uniaxiality in Landau–De Gennes global energy minimizers and obtain estimates for various related quantities such as the biaxiality parameter and the size of admissible strongly biaxial regions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-280
Number of pages54
JournalArchive for Rational Mechanics and Analysis
Issue number1
Early online date7 Jul 2009
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010


  • liquid crystal
  • global minimizer
  • uniform convergence
  • measure zero
  • nematic liquid crystal


Dive into the research topics of 'Landau–de Gennes theory of nematic liquid crystals: the Oseen–Frank limit and beyond'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this