Multiscale approach to nematic liquid crystals via statistical field theory

Bing Sui Lu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


We propose an approach to a multiscale problem in the theory of thermotropic uniaxial nematics based on the method of statistical field theory. This approach enables us to relate the coefficients A, B, C, L1, and L2 of the Landau-de Gennes free energy for the isotropic-nematic phase transition to the parameters of a molecular model of uniaxial nematics, which we take to be a lattice gas model of nematogenic molecules interacting via a short-ranged potential. We obtain general constraints on the temperature and volume fraction of nematogens for the Landau-de Gennes theory to be stable against molecular orientation fluctuations at quartic order. In particular, for the case of a fully occupied lattice, we compute the values of the isotropic-nematic transition temperature and the order parameter discontinuity predicted by (i) a continuum approximation of the nearest-neighbor Lebwohl-Lasher model and (ii) a Lebwohl-Lasher-type model with a nematogenic interaction of finite range. We find that the predictions of (i) are in reasonably good agreement with known results of Monte Carlo simulation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number022709
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes


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