Renato F. de Souza, Deng-Ke Yang, Ervin K. Lenzi, Luiz R. Evangelista e Rafael S. Zola

Annals of Physics – Volume: 346; Pages: 14–21; DOI: 10.1016/j.aop.2014.04.001

An analytical expression for the relaxation time of a nematic liquid crystal is obtained for the first time by considering the influence of surface viscosity, anchoring energy strength and cell gap, validated numerically by using the so-called relaxation method. This general equation for the molecular response time (τ0) was derived for a vertical aligned cell and by solving an eigenvalue equation coming from the usual balance of torque equation in the Derzhanskii and Petrov formulation, recovering the usual equations in the appropriate limit. The results show that τ∼db, where b=2 is observed only for strongly anchored cells, while for moderate to weak anchored cells, the exponent lies between 1 and 2, depending on both, surface viscosity and anchoring strength. We found that the surface viscosity is important when calculating the response time, specially for thin cells, critical for liquid crystal devices. The surface viscosity’s effect on the optical response time with pretilt is also explored. Our results bring new insights about the role of surface viscosity and its effects in applied physics.