Volume 113, Issue 23, 15 December 2000
Index of content:
113(2000); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.1323730View Description Hide Description
113(2000); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.1324993View Description Hide Description
This letter uses the classical theories of liquid crystal physics to derive the Young–Laplace equation of capillary hydrostatics for interfaces between viscous isotropic (I) fluids and nematic liquid crystals (NLC’s), and establishes the existence of four energy contributions to pressure jumps across these unusual anisotropic interfaces. It is shown that in addition to the usual curvature contribution, bulk and surface gradient elasticity,elastic stress, and anchoring energy contribute to pressure differentials across the interface. The magnitude of the effect is proportional to the elastic moduli of the NLC, and to the bulk and surface orientation gradients that may be present in the nematic phase. In contrast to the planar interface between isotropic fluids, flat liquid crystal interfaces support pressure jumps if elastic stresses, bulk and surface gradient energy, and/or anchoring energies are finite.