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Monte Carlo Simulations of Platelets
Michael P. Allen, Paul A. C. O'Brien
Department of Physics and Centre for Scientific Computing, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, United Kingdom

Colloidal suspensions of platelets are known, experimentally, to show a variety of phenomena reflecting the interplay of their Oseen-Frank elastic constants and surface tension effects [1, 2]. We have previously determined the Frank elastic constants of thin hard platelets by Monte Carlo simulation [3] and have recently extended this work to non-zero thickness [4], in both cases comparing with theoretical predictions. As expected, the bend elastic constant K3 is at least an order of magnitude smaller than the other two; the results are in reasonable agreement with experiment. We have also examined the phases of thin hard platelets confined between hard flat walls, observing surface-induced ordering and capillary condensation of the nematic phase.

[1] D. van der Beek, P. Davidson, H. H. Wensink, G. J. Vroege, and H. N. W. Lekkerkerker, Phys. Rev. E, 77, 031708 (2008).
[2] A. A. Verhoeff, R. H. J. Otten, P. van der Schoot, and H. N. W. Lekkerkerker, J. Phys. Chem. B, 113, 3704 (2009).
[3] P. A. O'Brien, M. P. Allen, D. L. Cheung, M. Dennison, and A. J. Masters, Phys. Rev. E, 78, 051705/1 (2008).
[4] P. A. O'Brien, M. P. Allen, D. L. Cheung, M. Dennison, and A. J. Masters, in preparation.

"Jožef Stefan" Institute

University of Ljubljana
Faculty of Mathematics
and Physics

Center of Excellence