A new publication from the group is now available on Physical Review’s website : Simulating defect textures on relaxing nematic shells

In this paper, we study the evolution of defects on a deforming, curved interface endowed with liquid crystalline order.

Two nematic shells brought in contact coalesce in order to reduce their interfacial tension. We study the defect textures as the combined shell shape evolves. Using large scale computer simulations, we resolve the director field and the defect valence on the doublet, how annihilating defect pairs are selected, and the stage of coalescence at which annihilation occurs os shells of varying sizes (Figure 1 below).

The coupling of orientational order to curvature plays a key role in shaping the structure of a number of important two-dimensional systems, including superfluid films and nematic-coated colloids.  Understanding this coupling can help control the morphology of particle-stabilized interfaces for applications ranging from drug delivery systems to structuring in food and cosmetic products.

 

FIG. 1. Left: Defect arrangement on the doublet during coalescence; r = R1/R2 is the spheres’ relative size, and b is the stage of coalescence. For larger values of r, the defect arrangement becomes asymmetric with more defects located on the side with smaller Gaussian curvature. Red dots indicate the positions of the defects. Right: For each shell size ratio on the left [(a):r = 2, (b):r = 1.5, and (c): r = 1], the Gaussian curvatures corresponding to different stages are plotted as a function of z: purple (b = 0), blue (b = 0.3), green (b = 0.6), and red (b = 1).

FIG. 1. Left: Defect arrangement on the doublet during coalescence; r = R1/R2 is the spheres’ relative size, and b is the
stage of coalescence. For larger values of r, the defect arrangement becomes asymmetric with more defects located on the side with smaller
Gaussian curvature. Red dots indicate the positions of the defects. Right: For each shell size ratio on the left [(a):r = 2, (b):r = 1.5, and (c):
r = 1], the Gaussian curvatures corresponding to different stages are plotted as a function of z: purple (b = 0), blue (b = 0.3), green (b = 0.6),
and red (b = 1).

 

 

Comments are closed.