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Knots and links of disclination lines in chiral nematic colloids

Tkalec, U (Jozef Stefan Institute)
Thursday 06 December 2012, 15:45-16:05

Seminar Room 1, Newton Institute


Nematic braids formed by disclination lines entangling colloidal particles in nematic liquid crystal are geometrically stabilized and restricted by topology. Experiments with nematic braids show rich variety of knotted and linked disclinations loops that can be manipulated and rewired by laser light. We describe a simple rewiring formalism and demonstrate how the self-linking number of nematic ribbons enables a classification of entangled structures. Controlled formation of arbitrary microscopic links and knots in nematic colloids provides a new route to the fabrication of soft matter with special topological features.


[1] M. Ravnik, M. Škarabot, S. Žumer, U. Tkalec, I. Poberaj, D. Babič, N. Osterman, I. Muševič, Phys. Rev. Lett. 99, 247801 (2007). [2] U. Tkalec, M. Ravnik, S. Žumer, I. Muševič, Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 127801 (2009). [3] S. Čopar, S. Žumer, Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 177801 (2011). [4] U. Tkalec, M. Ravnik, S. Čopar, S. Žumer, I. Muševič, Science 333, 62 (2011). [5] S. Čopar, T. Porenta, S. Žumer, Phys. Rev. E 84, 051702 (2011). [6] G. P. Alexander, B. G. Chen, E. A. Matsumoto, R. D. Kamien, Rev. Mod. Phys. 84, 497 (2012).


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