Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 48, 2018
Previous Article Next Article

Geometric stabilisation of topological defects on micro-helices and grooved rods in nematic liquid crystals

Author affiliations

Abstract

We demonstrate how the geometric shape of a rod in a nematic liquid crystal can stabilise a large number of oppositely charged topological defects. A rod is of the same shape as a sphere, both having genus g = 0, which means that the sum of all topological charges of defects on a rod has to be −1 according to the Gauss–Bonnet theorem. If the rod is straight, it usually shows only one hyperbolic hedgehog or a Saturn ring defect with negative unit charge. Multiple unit charges can be stabilised either by friction or large length, which screens the pair-interaction of unit charges. Here we show that the curved shape of helical colloids or the grooved surface of a straight rod create energy barriers between neighbouring defects and prevent their annihilation. The experiments also clearly support the Gauss–Bonnet theorem and show that topological defects on helices or grooved rods always appear in an odd number of unit topological charges with a total topological charge of −1.

Graphical abstract: Geometric stabilisation of topological defects on micro-helices and grooved rods in nematic liquid crystals

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 02 Aug 2018, accepted on 13 Nov 2018 and first published on 14 Nov 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM01583J
Citation: Soft Matter, 2018,14, 9819-9829
  •   Request permissions

    Geometric stabilisation of topological defects on micro-helices and grooved rods in nematic liquid crystals

    M. Nikkhou and I. Muševič, Soft Matter, 2018, 14, 9819
    DOI: 10.1039/C8SM01583J

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements