Liquid Crystals

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - 11:30am - 12:20pm
Giusy Scalia (University of Luxembourg)
Co-planar straight threads of carbon nanotubes can be used as transparent electrodes but also as templates for LC alignment. Unidirectional planar alignment and reorientation of LC under electric field was indeed obtained in cells having CNT sheets deposited on glass substrates. The optical properties of the CNT sheets are also of interest since even one layer, few tens of nanometer of thickness, can interact with polarized light.
Thursday, March 1, 2018 - 9:00am - 9:50am
Claudio Zannoni (Universita Di Bologna)
Predicting realistic morphologies and molecular organizations from chemical structure is far from easy and indeed has only recently proved doable by atomistic molecular dynamics. The issue is further complicated in thin films, where the material is strongly affected by surface interactions, even if obtaining information on alignment and anchoring is essential to optimize the specific interfacial orientations required for different applications (e.g. Field Effect Transistors, or Organic Solar Cells or Nano-Photonic devices).
Thursday, January 18, 2018 - 10:00am - 10:50am
Igor Aronson (The Pennsylvania State University)
Living nematic is a realization of an active matter combining a nematic liquid crystal with swimming bacteria. The material exhibits a remarkable tendency towards spatio-temporal self-organization manifested in the creation of dynamic textures of self-propelled half-integer topological defects (disclinations or vortices). The well-established and validated model of nematic liquid crystals coupled to the bacterial dynamics is used to describe intricate properties of such a living nematic.
Saturday, October 24, 2015 - 3:35pm - 4:15pm
Robert Hardt (Rice University)
In 1985, J. Ericksen derived a model for uniaxial liquid crystals to allow for disclinations (i.e. line defects or curve singularities). It involved not only a unit director vectorfield on a region of R^3 but also a scalar order parmeter quantifying the expected inner product between this vector and the molecular orientation. FH.Lin, in several papers, related this model, for certain material constants, to harmonic maps to a metric cone over S^2 .
Saturday, October 24, 2015 - 9:00am - 9:40am
Arghir Zarnescu (University of Sussex)
Some of the most intriguing terms in the energy functionals corresponding to physical theories are the null Lagrangians. For liquid crystals, their effects and experimental determination, remain elusive as noted already in the 1962 seminal paper on nilpotent energies of Professor Ericksen.
Friday, October 23, 2015 - 1:45pm - 2:25pm
John Ball (University of Oxford)
Jerry Ericksen’s insights into the understanding of martensitic transformations and liquid crystal mechanics have influenced generations of researchers. I will discuss some results concerning martensitic microstructure morphology in single and polycrystals, and others concerning surface defects in liquid crystals, linked by common themes and related variational structures, drawing from collaborations with S.J. Bedford, C. Carstensen, P. Cesana, B. Hambly, K. Koumatos and H. Seiner.
Friday, May 23, 2014 - 9:20am - 10:00am
Valeriy Slastikov (University of Bristol)
We use the framework of Landau-de Gennes theory to investigate various defect profiles and their stability in 2D and 3D liquid crystal systems. In 2D we show that a defect profile can be characterized by a system of ODEs. We show that in deep nematic regime this defect profile is a ground state of the liquid crystal system. In 3D we investigate the stability of radially symmetric profile (melting hedgehog) corresponding to the point defect. We show its stability in the mathematically challenging temperature regime near the supercooling temperature.
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