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Surface stabilized topological solitons in nematic liquid crystals
Nys, Inge (Author), Berteloot, Brecht (Author), Poy, Guilhem (Author)

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Abstract
Photo-alignment is a versatile tool to pattern the alignment at the confining substrates in a liquid crystal (LC) cell. Arbitrary alignment patterns can be created by using projection with a spatial light modulator (SLM) for the illumination. We demonstrate that a careful design of the alignment patterns allows the stabilization of topological solitons in nematic liquid crystal (NLC) cells, without the need for chirality or strong confinement. The created LC configurations are stabilized by the anchoring conditions imposed at the substrates. The photo-aligned background at both substrates is uniformly planar aligned, and ring-shaped regions with a 180° azimuthal rotation are patterned with an opposite sense of rotation at the top and bottom substrate. A disclination-free structure containing a closed ring of vertically oriented directors is formed when the patterned rings at the top and bottom substrate overlap. Thanks to the topological stability, a vertical director orientation in the bulk is observed even when the centra of both patterned rings are shifted over relatively large distances. The combination of numerical simulations with experimental measurements allows identification of the 3D director configuration in the bulk. A finite element (FE) Q-tensor simulation model is applied to find the equilibrium director configuration and optical simulations are used to confirm the correspondence with experimental microscopy measurements. The created LC configurations offer opportunities in the field of optical devices, light guiding and switching, particle trapping and studies of topological LC structures.

Language:English
Keywords:nematic liquid crystals, topological solitons, optics
Tipology:1.01 - Original Scientific Article
Organization:FMF - Faculty of Mathematics and Physics
Year:2020
Number of pages:17 str.
Numbering:Vol. 10, art. no. 840
UDC:538.9
ISSN on article:2073-4352
DOI:10.3390/cryst10090840 This link opens in a new window
COBISS.SI-ID:52294147 This link opens in a new window
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Downloads:44
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Record is a part of a journal

Title:Crystals
Shortened title:Crystals
Publisher:MDPI
ISSN:2073-4352
COBISS.SI-ID:36677893 This link opens in a new window

Document is financed by a project

Funder:ARRS - Agencija za raziskovalno dejavnost Republike Slovenije (ARRS)
Project no.:P1-0099
Name:Fizika mehkih snovi, površin in nanostruktur

Funder:EC - European Commission
Funding Programme:H2020
Project no.:834256
Name:Interacting optical and topological solitons in frustrated cholesterics
Acronym:OPTOSOL

Licences

License:CC BY 4.0, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Link:http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Description:This is the standard Creative Commons license that gives others maximum freedom to do what they want with the work as long as they credit the author.
Licensing start date:18.02.2021

Secondary language

Language:Slovenian
Keywords:nematski tekoči kristali, topološki solitoni, optika

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