Magnetic Alignment of Nematic Liquid Crystals

  • J. O. Kessler


It has generally been taken for granted that the magnetic alignment of nematic liquid crystals is due to their anisotropic diamagnetic susceptibility. On a per-molecule basis the orientation-dependent magnetic interaction energy is much smaller than kT. It is therefore necessary to invoke some mechanism which reduces the effect of thermal agitation, if the latter is not to destroy the magnetic alignment. The spontaneous ordering of the molecular axes in the nematic state provides just such a mechanism. Thus, the usual descriptions of magnetic alignment depend on the interaction of the field with self-ordered macroscopic regions of the liquid. These regions are thought of as essentially rigid in the swarm theory, and deformable, but coherent, in the continuum theory.(1,2)


Nematic Liquid Crystal Magnetocaloric Effect Molecular Axis Thermal Agitation Magnetoelastic Coupling 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. O. Kessler
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsThe University of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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