Nematic liquid crystals in a rectangular confinement : solution landscape, and bifurcation

Shi, Baoming and Han, Yucen and Zhang, Lei (2022) Nematic liquid crystals in a rectangular confinement : solution landscape, and bifurcation. SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics, 82 (5). pp. 1808-1828. ISSN 0036-1399 (

[thumbnail of Shi-etal-AM-2022-Nematic-liquid-crystals-in-a-rectangular-confinement]
Text. Filename: Shi_etal_AM_2022_Nematic_liquid_crystals_in_a_rectangular_confinement.pdf
Accepted Author Manuscript
License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 logo

Download (11MB)| Preview


We study the solution landscape and bifurcation diagrams of nematic liquid crystals confined on a rectangle, using a reduced two-dimensional Landau–de Gennes framework in terms of two geometry-dependent variables: half short edge length λ and aspect ratio b . First, we analytically prove that, for any b with a small enough λ or for a large enough b with a fixed domain size, there is a unique stable solution that has two line defects on the opposite short edges. Second, we numerically construct solution landscapes by varying λ and b , and report a novel X state, which emerges from saddle-node bifurcation and serves as the parent state in such a solution landscape. Various new classes are then found among these solution landscapes, including the X class, the S class, and the L class. By tracking the Morse indices of individual solutions, we present bifurcation diagrams for nematic equilibria, thus illustrating the emergence mechanism of critical points and several effects of geometrical anisotropy on confined defect patterns.