Peter, Christine

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Dual translocation pathways in smectic liquid crystals facilitated by molecular flexibility

2013, Mukherjee, Biswaroop, Peter, Christine, Kremer, Kurt

We investigate translocation mechanisms in smectic A liquid crystals (LCs) by a realistic, coarse-grained model of a LC compound comprising a stiff azobenzene core with flexible tails. We observe that the molecules can permeate from one smectic layer to the next via two different mechanisms, with and without significant reorientation, the former being facilitated through transverse interlayer intermediates. This is possible due to the intrinsic flexibility of the molecules. The two processes lead to characteristic signatures in the Van Hove self-correlation function, which can also be observed experimentally.