Orientational structures in cholesteric droplets with homeotropic surface anchoring†
The dependency of orientational structures in cholesteric droplets with homeotropic surface anchoring on the helicity parameter has been studied by experiment and simulations. We have observed a sequence of structures, in which the director configurations and topological defects were identified by comparison of polarized microscopy pictures with simulated textures. A toron-like and low-symmetry intermediate layer-like structures have been revealed and studied in detail. The ranges of stability of the observed structures have been summarized in a general diagram and explained by the helicity parameter dependence of the free energy terms.