Chapter 2: Phase Diagrams, Phase Separation Mechanisms and Morphologies in Liquid Crystalline Materials: Principles and Theoretical Foundations
Published:03 Jan 2019
Polymer–liquid crystal composites are heterogeneous materials that display a rich phase behaviour and a variety of morphologies, and are typically used in electro-optical technological applications. This chapter presents a comprehensive general introduction to phase behaviour and morphologies of these materials. The fundamental physics underlying the formation of different morphologies is described, with a strong emphasis in how the trajectory in the phase diagram determines the phase separation mechanism and the emerging morphology. The effects of processing variables, chemical reaction and molecular structures on phase diagrams are rationalized through their effect on phase separation and diffusion. The theories, models and computations presented in this introductory chapter are a critical contribution to achieving desired functionalities by identifying the optimal processing conditions in these soft matter materials.