Elastic constants of hard thick platelets by Monte Carlo simulation and virial expansion

O'Brien, Paul A.C. and Allen, Michael P. and Cheung, David and Dennison, Matthew and Masters, Andrew (2011) Elastic constants of hard thick platelets by Monte Carlo simulation and virial expansion. Soft Matter, 7 (1). pp. 153-162. ISSN 1744-6848

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Abstract

In this paper we present an investigation into the calculation of the Frank elastic constants of hard plate-like particles via molecular simulation and virial expansion beyond second order. We adopt the cut-sphere model, in which each particle consists of a hard sphere from which the top and bottom have been removed by cuts parallel to, and equidistant from, the equatorial plane. Monte Carlo simulations were carried out and director fluctuations measured as a function of wavevector k, giving the elastic constants through a fit in the low-k limit. Additionally, the virial expansion coefficients of the elastic constants up to sixth order were calculated, and the validity of the theory determined by comparison with the simulation results. The simulation results are also compared with experimental measurements on colloidal suspensions of plate-like particles.