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J Mol Model. 2012 Jun;18(6):2321-31. doi: 10.1007/s00894-011-1254-6.

Size and chain length effects on structural behaviors of biphenylcyclohexane-based liquid crystal nanoclusters by a coarse-grained model.

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Department of Aircraft Engineering, Air Force Institute of Technology, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Republic of China.


Size and chain length effects on structural behaviors of liquid crystal nanoclusters were examined by a coarse-grained model and the configurational-bias Monte Carlo (CBMC) simulation. The nanoclusters investigated in this study are composed of the biphenylcyclohexane-based BCH5H liquid crystal molecule and its derivatives. Results of the study show that the average energy decreases (i.e., more negative) as the cluster size (i.e., the number of molecules) increases. With the increasing cluster size, the equilibrium conformation of the nanocluster changes gradually from a pipe-like structure (for the smaller systems) to a ball-like cluster (for the larger systems). The order parameter of the system reduces with the transition of the equilibrium conformation. Regarding the chain length effect, the pipe-like equilibrium conformation (for the smaller systems) was observed more close to a pipe as the length of the tail alkyl chain of the derivatives extended. However, due to the flexibility of the tail alkyl chain, the pipe conformation of the system deflects slightly about its cyclohexyl group as the tail extends further.

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