Solution landscape of a reduced Landau-de Gennes model on a hexagon

Han, Yucen and Yin, Jianyuan and Zhang, Pingwen and Majumdar, Apala and Zhang, Lei (2021) Solution landscape of a reduced Landau-de Gennes model on a hexagon. Nonlinearity, 34 (4). 2048–2069. ISSN 0951-7715

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We investigate the solution landscape of a reduced Landau--de Gennes model for nematic liquid crystals on a two-dimensional hexagon at a fixed temperature, as a function of λ---the edge length. This is a generic example for reduced approaches on regular polygons. We apply the high-index optimization-based shrinking dimer method to systematically construct the solution landscape consisting of multiple defect solutions and relationships between them. We report a new stable T state with index-0 that has an interior −1/2 defect; new classes of high-index saddle points with multiple interior defects referred to as H class and TD class; changes in the Morse index of saddle points with λ2 and novel pathways mediated by high-index saddle points that can control and steer dynamical pathways. The range of topological degrees, locations and multiplicity of defects offered by these saddle points can be used to navigate through complex solution landscapes of nematic liquid crystals and other related soft matter systems.