Orientational ordering in hard rectangles: The role of three-body correlations

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ISSN: 0021-9606 (Print)
ISSN: 1089-7690 (Online)
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American Institute of Physics
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We investigate the effect of three-body correlations on the phase behavior of hard rectangle two-dimensional fluids. The third virial coefficient B3 is incorporated via an equation of state that recovers scaled particle theory for parallel hard rectangles. This coefficient, a functional of the orientational distribution function, is calculated by Monte Carlo integration, using an accurate parametrized distribution function, for various particle aspect ratios in the range of 1–25. A bifurcation analysis of the free energy calculated from the obtained equation of state is applied to find the isotropic (I)-uniaxial nematic (Nu) and isotropic-tetratic nematic (Nt) spinodals and to study the order of these phase transitions. We find that the relative stability of the Nt phase with respect to the isotropic phase is enhanced by the introduction of B3. Finally, we have calculated the complete phase diagram using a variational procedure and compared the results with those obtained from scaled particle theory and with Monte Carlo simulations carried out for hard rectangles with various aspect ratios. The predictions of our proposed equation of state as regards the transition densities between the isotropic and orientationally ordered phases for small aspect ratios are in fair agreement with simulations. Also, the critical aspect ratio below which the Nt phase becomes stable is predicted to increase due to three-body correlations, although the corresponding value is underestimated with respect to simulation.
13 pages, 12 figures.-- PACS nrs.: 61.30.Gd, 64.70.Md, 64.10.+h, 61.20.Ja, 65.20.+w.-- ArXiv pre-print available at:
Nematic liquid crystals, Molecular orientation, Equations of state, Monte Carlo methods, Liquid theory, Liquid crystal phase transformations, Bifurcation, Free energy, Phase diagrams, Variational techniques
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Journal of Chemical Physics, 2006, vol. 125, n. 1, p. 014501-014501-13