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1 ICJ - Institut Camille Jordan Villeurbanne

Abstract : Using Landau-de Gennes theory to describe nematic order, we study a frustrated cell consisting of nematic liquid crystal confined between two parallel plates. We prove the uniqueness of equilibrium states for a small cell width. Letting the cell width grow, we study the behaviour of this unique solution. Restricting ourselves to a certain interval of temperature, we prove that this solution becomes unstable at a critical value of the cell width. Moreover, we show that this loss of stability comes with the appearance of two new solutions: there is a symmetric pitchfork bifurcation. This picture agrees with numerical simulations performed by P. Palffy-Muhorray, E.C. Gartland and J.R. Kelly. Some of the methods that we use in the present paper apply to other situations, and we present the proofs in a general setting. More precisely, the paper contains the proof of a general uniqueness result for a class of perturbed quasilinear elliptic systems, and general considerations about symmetric solutions and their stability, in the spirit of Palais- Principle of Symmetric Criticality.

Mots-clés : liquid crystals bifurcation quasilinear elliptic systems





Author: Xavier Lamy -

Source: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/



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