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Landau-De Gennes theory of nematic liquid crystals: the Oseen-Frank limit and beyond

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Abstract

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 $$W^{1,2}$$, 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.

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Journal
2008-12-16
0812.3131
10.1007/s00205-009-0249-2