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Nematic line defects in microfluidic channels: wedge, twist and zigzag disclinations

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Abstract

We report an experimental study of structural transformations of disclination lines in nematic liquid crystals in microfluidic channels. The anchoring conditions of the channel walls enforce the generation of a disclination line of the wedge type in the absence of flow. The wedge disclination is transformed to a twist disclination by the flow of the nematic liquid crystal in the channel. The application of an electric field perpendicular to the channel axis induces a second transformation to a zigzag shape. The threshold field strength for the second transformation increases with increasing flow velocity. The experimental results are compared to predictions based on model director fields of the different disclination structures.

Graphical abstract: Nematic line defects in microfluidic channels: wedge, twist and zigzag disclinations

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Publication details

The article was received on 20 Nov 2017, accepted on 15 Dec 2017 and first published on 19 Dec 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM02286G
Citation: Soft Matter, 2018, Advance Article
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    Nematic line defects in microfluidic channels: wedge, twist and zigzag disclinations

    H. Agha and C. Bahr, Soft Matter, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7SM02286G

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