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Issue 20, 2013
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Bivalent defect configurations in inhomogeneous nematic shells

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Abstract

We present a theoretical study of the director fields and energetics of nematic liquid crystal shells with two pairs of surface defects. The pairs of defects can undergo abrupt transitions from a configuration of maximum separation to a state in which the defects are confined to the thinner hemisphere. We construct a phase diagram that maps out the stability and coexistence of these two configurations as a function of shell thickness and thickness inhomogeneity. Our results compare favourably with the experimentally observed transitions in nematic double emulsion droplets and explain their hysteretic character.

Graphical abstract: Bivalent defect configurations in inhomogeneous nematic shells

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Publication details

The article was received on 19 Nov 2012, accepted on 22 Feb 2013 and first published on 10 Apr 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM27671F
Citation: Soft Matter, 2013,9, 4993-5003
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    Bivalent defect configurations in inhomogeneous nematic shells

    V. Koning, T. Lopez-Leon, A. Fernandez-Nieves and V. Vitelli, Soft Matter, 2013, 9, 4993
    DOI: 10.1039/C3SM27671F

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