Orientational correlations in Langmuir monolayers of nematic and smectic-C liquid crystal (LC) phases are investigated by molecular dynamics simulation. In both phases, the orientational correlation functions decay algebraically yet with the different exponents of 1.9 and 0.2 for the nematic and the smectic-C monolayers, respectively. The power law decay, i.e., the absence of long-range orientational order, means the both monolayers should be the ideal 2D system with a continuous symmetry, whereas the large difference in the exponents of power law gives rise to the crucial difference in their optical properties; the nematic monolayer is optically isotropic while the smectic-C monolayer exhibits an anisotropy on the length scale of visible light. Since the exponent is inversely proportional to the molecular exchange energy, the averaged molecular interaction in the nematic monolayer should be an order of magnitude smaller than that in the smectic-C monolayer, which is ascribed to the low molecular density and the weak molecular dipole due to the water molecule. The relation between the molecular interaction and the orientational correlation calculated for the 2D LC system offers much information not only about the 2D LCs but also on the bulk system.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry