Tricritical phenomena in ferronematic liquid crystals
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Orientational transitions induced by an external magnetic field in a ferronematic (a suspension of single-domain magnetic particles in a nematic liquid crystal) are considered in the framework of the continuum theory. The surface potential of the interaction between the ferronematic and the bounding plates is used taking into account the fourth-order anisotropy (the modified Rapini potential). It is shown that the ferronematic can be in one of three phases that correspond to three types of orientational ordering: homogeneous ordering, inhomogeneous ordering, and saturation state. The influence of the segregation effect of magnetic particles on the nature of orientational transitions of the ferronematic in an external field is studied. It is established that the transitions between these phases can be of the first and second order depending on the values of the anchoring parameters and the segregation parameter. Tricritical values of the parameter of anchoring anisotropy and the segregation parameter are determined.
KeywordsMagnetic Particle Saturation Field Segregation Effect Inhomogeneous State Inhomogeneous Phase
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