Enhanced Stability of the Tetratic Phase due to Clustering Articles uri icon

publication date

  • January 2009

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 9

issue

  • 1

volume

  • 79

international standard serial number (ISSN)

  • 1539-3755

electronic international standard serial number (EISSN)

  • 1550-2376

abstract

  • clustering effects. Two-dimensional rectangles of aspect ratio kappa interacting via hard interactions are considered, and the stability of the two nematic phases (uniaxial and tetratic) is examined using an extended scaled-particle theory applied to a polydispersed fluid mixture of n species. Here the ith species is associated with clusters of i rectangles, with clusters defined as stacks of rectangles containing approximately parallel rectangles, with frozen internal degrees of freedom. The theory assumes an exponential cluster size distribution (an assumption fully supported by Monte Carlo simulations and by a simple chemical-reaction model), with fixed value of the second moment. The corresponding area distribution presents a shoulder, and sometimes even a well-defined peak, at cluster sizes approximately corresponding to square shape (i.e., i ≃ kappa), meaning that square clusters have a dominant contribution to the free energy of the hard-rectangle fluid. The theory predicts an enhanced region of stability of the tetratic phase with respect to the standard scaled-particle theory, much closer to simulation and to experimental results, demonstrating the importance of clustering in this fluid.