Rupture and recoil of bent-core liquid crystal filaments†
The recoil process of free-standing liquid crystal filaments is investigated experimentally and theoretically. We focus on two aspects, the contraction speed of the filament and a spontaneously formed undulation instability. At the moment of rupture, the filaments buckle similarly to the classical Euler buckling of elastic rods. The tip velocity decays with decreasing filament length. The wavelength of buckling affinely decreases with the retracting filament tip. The energy gain related to the decrease of the total length and surface area of the filaments is mainly dissipated by layer rearrangements during thickening of the fibre. A flow back into the meniscus is relevant only in the final stage of the recoil process. We introduce a model for the quantitative description of the filament retraction speed. The dynamics of this recoil behaviour may find relevance as a model for biology-related filaments.