Reference : Liquid Crystals in Novel Geometries prepared by Microfluidics and Electrospinning
Scientific journals : Article
Engineering, computing & technology : Materials science & engineering
Liquid Crystals in Novel Geometries prepared by Microfluidics and Electrospinning
Liang, Hsin-Ling [> >]
Enz, Eva [> >]
Scalia, Giusy [> >]
Lagerwall, Jan mailto [Martin-Luther-Universit├Ąt Halle-Wittenberg > > > ; Seoul National University]
Molecular Crystals & Liquid Crystals
Taylor & Francis Ltd
Yes (verified by ORBilu)
[en] liquid crystal ; confinement ; phase transition ; topological defects ; electrospinning ; nematic
[en] We describe two new techniques of preparing liquid crystal samples and discuss their potential for novel research and applications. Very thin polymer composite fibers func- tionalized by a liquid crystalline core are realized by coaxial electrospinning of a polymer solution surrounding the liquid crystal during the spinning process. The re- sulting fiber mats exhibit the special properties and responsiveness of the liquid crystal core, e.g. temperature dependent selective reflection when a short-pitch cholesteric is encapsulated. In the second approach an axisymmetric nested capillary microfluidics set-up is used to prepare liquid crystalline shells suspended in an aqueous continuous phase. The spherical geometry of the shell imposes specific defect configurations, the exact result depending on the prevailing liquid crystal phase, the director anchoring conditions at the inner and outer surfaces, and the homogeneity of the shell thickness. With planar director anchoring a variety of defect configurations are possible but for topological reasons the defects must always sum up to a total defect strength of s = +2. Homeotropic anchoring instead gives a defect-free shell, in contrast to a droplet with homeotropic boundary conditions, which must have a defect at its core. By varying the inner and outer fluids as well as the liquid crystal material and temperature, the defect configuration can be tuned in a way that makes the shells interesting e.g. as a versatile colloid crystal building block.

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