Instabilities of Liquid Crystals
Supported by NSF grant No. DMS-0908158
Students: Paul Dupiano, Sean Naughton, Motolani Olarinre, Namrata Patel, Juan Pineda, Ivana Seric, Priyanka Shah, Mandeep Singh
Laboratory Assistant: Te-Sheng Lin
Instructor: Lou Kondic
Thanks to: Linda Cummings, Peter Palffy-Muhoray
project explored instabilities occurring during spreading of liquid
crystals on solid surfaces and consisted of experimental,
computational, and modeling component.
The experimental group
carried table top experiments with 5CB liquid crystal in nematic phase
spreading on horizontal and inclined substrates, with the idea of
exploring the influence of complex liquid crystal rheology on the
spreading behavior. The figures below show some examples of
intriguate patterns that were observed.
Figure 1: Flow down an incline.
Figure 2: Horizontal spreading.
combination with experiments, modeling and computational projects have
considered various features of liquid crystal dynamics, such as
different types in instabilities and their interplay. The figure
below shows an example of instabilities which may be expected in a
downslope flow of liquid crystals. These results were obtained
from an asymptotic long-wave model, which reduces complex spreading
problem to a solution of a single nonlinear partial differential
Figure 4: Surface instabilities expected in downslope flow
of nematic liquid crystal.
More details about the project can be found in the presentation materials linked below.
Final reports:Experimental GroupComputational GroupModeling Group