Modeling and large-scale simulation of thin film flows of nematic liquid crystal
Linda Cummings, NJIT


The Leslie-Ericksen theory for nematic liquid crystals may be used to derive a model for free surface flow of a thin film of NLC. Formal asymptotics based on the film aspect ratio lead to a 4th order nonlinear PDE governing the film height evolution. We study and simulate our model in different regimes, where different physical effects can lead to instability and pattern formation. Our large scale simulations for ultra-thin films where van der Waals' forces are important show remarkable qualitative agreement with experimental observations.