Effects of poly(ethylene glycol) on the wetting behavior and director configuration of lyotropic chromonic liquid crystals confined in cylinders†
We investigate the effects of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) doping on nematic lyotropic chromonic liquid crystals (LCLCs) confined in a cylindrical cavity. First, PEG added to Sunset Yellow (SSY) renders confining glass surfaces nemato-phobic by adsorption. We also confirm that the grafting of PEG to bare glass surfaces changes them from nemato-philic to nemato-phobic. This change in the wetting behavior affects how nematic director configurations form and relax. Additionally, we observe that PEG-doped nematic SSY retains the double-twist director configuration as in the PEG-free case. However, the PEG-doped nematic SSY is accompanied by unprecedented domain-wall-like defects and heterogeneity in the director configuration. We propose multiple hypotheses on how PEG changes the director configuration, including the formation of meta-stable director configurations.