Confinement effects in two dimensions on freely suspended liquid crystal films

author: Noel A. Clark, University of Colorado Boulder
published: Aug. 5, 2010,   recorded: July 2010,   views: 3903


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We are studying the interactions and dynamics of islands, textures, and topological defects on freely suspended smectic C liquid crystal films. Freely suspended smectic films are quantized in thickness in units of single smectic layers and Islands studied here are thicker stacks of layers on a thinner background film. We will report on the following: a) Diffusion of islands on smectic A films, revealing the distinct effects of hydrodynamic drag from liquid crystal flow and from airflow. b) Interactions of islands on smectic C films, exploring the effects of chirality on the collective behavior of islands and their companion topological defects. c) Dynamic behavior of buckminsterfullerene nanospheres in freely suspended films. d) Effects of polarization on textures and defects in two dimensions, where a dramatic transformation in textures is found to accompany the increase of polarization, a change which can be produced by increase of the enentiomeric excess (ee) of the LC. The images below show an example, where the ee = 0% textures are smooth with large orientation fluctuations, the ee = 100% textures exhibit sharp discontinuities.

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