Modelling planar bistable devices: from Q-tensor to director models
Seminar Room 1, Newton Institute
In this talk we continue the theme of bistable devices from the previous presentation. Here we compare the Q-tensor model to a director based model, i.e. moving from a mesoscopic approach to a macroscopic approach, in a number of practical examples. We consider the polygonal confinement considered in the previous talk and extend to more general cases of bistability and multistability arising from the morphology of bounding substrates. Bifurcation diagrams of stable states, as parameters such as anchoring strength are varied, are computed. We review some of the advantages and disadvantages of the two modelling approaches and compare results to experimental measurements. Although a director based model is inherently restricted in its inability to model effects such as surface melting and disclination lines, we find that all stable states are in fact reproduced. Additionally we find that, rather surprisingly, the dynamics of switching in the bistable devices can be modelled accu rately using a director theory.