Fluctuation-Induced First-Order Phase Transition in an Anisotropic Planar Model of N2 on Graphite

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Monte Carlo simulations are used to show that the orientational ordering transition of planar quadrupoles on a triangular lattice is first order. The orientational ground state is a herringbone structure, and the transition lies in the universality class of a (n=3, d=2) Heisenberg model with face-oriented cubic anisotropy. The Monte Carlo results are related to recent low-energy electron-diffraction studies of N2 on graphite. Domainwall motion and the applicability of this model to herringbone phases of liquid crystals are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)181-184
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 1982
Externally publishedYes

ID: 238392909