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Issue 32, 2017
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Orientation of topological defects in 2D nematic liquid crystals

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Abstract

Topological defects are an essential part of the structure and dynamics of all liquid crystals, and they are particularly important in experiments and simulations on active liquid crystals. In a recent paper, Vromans and Giomi [Soft Matter, 2016, 12, 6490] pointed out that topological defects are not point-like objects but actually have orientational properties, which strongly affect the energetics and motion of the defects. That paper developed a mathematical formalism which describes the orientational properties as vectors. Here, we agree with the basic concept of defect orientation, but we suggest an alternative mathematical formalism. We represent the defect orientation by a tensor, with a rank that depends on the topological charge: rank 1 for a charge of +1/2, rank 3 for a charge of −1/2. Using this tensor formalism, we calculate the orientation-dependent interaction between defects, and we present numerical simulations of defect motion.

Graphical abstract: Orientation of topological defects in 2D nematic liquid crystals

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Publication details

The article was received on 15 Jun 2017, accepted on 29 Jul 2017 and first published on 31 Jul 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM01195D
Citation: Soft Matter, 2017,13, 5481-5490
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    Orientation of topological defects in 2D nematic liquid crystals

    X. Tang and J. V. Selinger, Soft Matter, 2017, 13, 5481
    DOI: 10.1039/C7SM01195D

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