Steady rigid-body rotation of cholesteric droplets and their dumbbell-shaped aggregates driven by heat flux along the helical axes†
We investigated the steady unidirectional rotation of cholesteric (Ch) droplets driven by a heat flux. The droplets coexisted with the isotropic (Iso) phase and possessed a helical molecular arrangement. When a heat flux was transported along the helical axis, the droplets and their dumbbell-shaped aggregates exhibited steady rigid rotation. Our results are in contrast with those of previous reports in which Ch droplets in the same geometry exhibited pure director rotation. The fact that Ch droplets and their aggregates prefer rigid rotation can be ascribed to the orientational elasticity combined with the anchoring force at the Ch–Iso interface, which locks the director to the rotational flow in the droplets.