### Abstract

We numerically study structural transitions inside shallow sub-micrometre scale wells with square cross section, filled with nematic liquid crystal material. We model the wells within the Landau–de Gennes theory. We obtain two qualitatively different states: (i) the diagonal state with defects for relatively large wells with lateral dimension greater than a critical threshold and (ii) a new, two-dimensional star-like biaxial order reconstruction pattern called the well order-reconstruction structure (WORS), for wells smaller than the critical threshold. The WORS is defined by an uniaxial cross connecting the four vertices of the square cross section. We numerically compute the critical threshold in terms of the bare biaxial correlation length and study its dependence on the temperature and on the anchoring strength on the lateral well surfaces.

Original language | English |
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Number of pages | 18 |

Journal | Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series A - Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences |

Volume | 470 |

Issue number | 2169 |

DOIs | |

Publication status | Published - 8 Sep 2014 |

### Keywords

- nematic liquid crystal wells
- order reconstruction patterns
- Landau–de Gennes theory
- defects
- nano-confined systems
- mathematical modelling

## Cite this

Kralj, S., & Majumdar, A. (2014). Order reconstruction patterns in nematic liquid crystal wells.

*Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series A - Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences*,*470*(2169). https://doi.org/10.1098/rspa.2014.0276