Liquid crystal emulsions

Creating emulsions of multiple material components leads to conditions for microfluidics and self-assembling functionalized materials for use in optics and sensory applications. Specifically, in complex nematic fluids, confinement to or within closed cavities introduces fundamental topological constraints that force the material to assume complex textures. We use numerical simulations and topological methods to study structures and defects that form in LCs, confined to droplets and shells in a surrounding liquid medium. Arrangements of topological defects on nematic shells can be controlled via geometry and boundary conditions, acting as objects with variable valence. Chiral nematic droplets feature many metastable states with knotted defect lines and polyvalent charges, which follow complex topological rules.

Selected papers

  • K. Peddireddy, S. Čopar, K. V. Le, I. Muševič, C. Bahr and V. S. R. Jampani Self-shaping liquid crystal droplets by balancing bulk elasticity and interfacial tension, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 118, 14 (2021). [Link] [PDF].

  • G. Posnjak, S. Čopar and I. Muševič, Hidden topological constellations and polyvalent charges in chiral nematic droplets, Nat. Commun. 8, 14594 (2017). [Link] [PDF].

  • A. Darmon, M. Benzaquen, D. Seč, S. Čopar, O. Dauchot and T. Lopez-Leon, Waltzing route toward double-helix formation in cholesteric shells, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 113, 9469 (2016). [Link] [PDF].

  • D. Seč, T. Porenta, M. Ravnik and S. Žumer, Geometrical frustration of chiral ordering in cholesteric droplets, Soft Matter 8, 11982 (2012). [Link] [PDF].

  • G. Skačej and C. Zannoni, Controlling Surface Defect Valence in Colloids, Phys. Rev. Lett. 100, 197802 (2008). [Link] [PDF].