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Ionically charged topological defects in nematic fluids
Everts, Jeffrey Christopher (Author), Ravnik, Miha (Author)

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Abstract
Charge profiles in liquid electrolytes are of crucial importance for applications such as supercapacitors, fuel cells, batteries, or the self-assembly of particles in colloidal or biological settings. However, creating localized (screened) charge profiles in the bulk of such electrolytes generally requires the presence of surfaces—for example, provided by colloidal particles or outer surfaces of the material—which poses a fundamental constraint on the material design. Here, we show that topological defects in nematic electrolytes can perform as regions for local charge separation, forming charged defect cores and, in some geometries, even electric multilayers, as opposed to the electric double layers found in isotropic electrolytes. Using a Landau-de Gennes-Poisson-Boltzmann theoretical framework, we show that ions highly effectively couple with the topological defect cores via ion solvability and with the local director-field distortions of the defects via flexoelectricity. The defect charging is shown for different defect types—lines, points, and walls—using geometries of ionically screened flat isotropic-nematic interfaces, radial hedgehog point defects, and half-integer wedge disclinations in the bulk and as stabilized by (charged) colloidal particles. More generally, our findings are relevant for possible applications where topological defects act as diffuse ionic capacitors or as ionic charge carriers.

Language:English
Keywords:condensed matter physics, nematic liquid crystals, topological defects, electrostatic double layer
Tipology:1.01 - Original Scientific Article
Organization:FMF - Faculty of Mathematics and Physics
Year:2021
Number of pages:Str. 011054-1-011054-17
Numbering:Vol. 11, iss. 1
UDC:538.9
ISSN on article:2160-3308
DOI:10.1103/PhysRevX.11.011054 This link opens in a new window
COBISS.SI-ID:55545603 This link opens in a new window
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Downloads:54
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Record is a part of a journal

Title:Physical review
Shortened title:Phys. rev., X
Publisher:American Physical Society
ISSN:2160-3308
COBISS.SI-ID:19686152 This link opens in a new window

Document is financed by a project

Funder:EC - European Commission
Funding Programme:H2020
Project no.:795377
Name:Topological Colloidal Double Layers
Acronym:TCDL

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

Funder:ARRS - Agencija za raziskovalno dejavnost Republike Slovenije (ARRS)
Project no.:J1-2462
Name:Topološka turbulenca v ograjenih kiralnih nematskih poljih

Funder:ARRS - Agencija za raziskovalno dejavnost Republike Slovenije (ARRS)
Project no.:J1-1697
Name:Študij sil znotraj celic s pomočjo deformacij fotonskih kapljic

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:17.03.2021

Secondary language

Language:Slovenian
Keywords:fizika kondenzirane snovi, nematski tekoči kristali, topološki defekti, elektrostatska dvojna plast

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