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Defect trajectories and domain-wall loop dynamics during two-frequency switching in a bistable azimuthal nematic device

Davidson, A.J. and Brown, C.V. and Mottram, N.J. and Ladak, S. and Evans, C.R. (2010) Defect trajectories and domain-wall loop dynamics during two-frequency switching in a bistable azimuthal nematic device. Physical Review E: Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics, 81 (5). ISSN 1063-651X

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Abstract

Bistable azimuthal nematic alignment textures have been created in micrometer-scale channels for which one sidewall is smooth and straight and the other possesses a symmetric sawtooth morphology. The optical textures have been observed during dynamic switching between the two stable states in response to dual frequency ac waveform driving of a highly dispersive nematic liquid crystal. The switching processes involves collapsing of filamentlike director reorientation (tilt-wall) loops and the associated motion and annihilation of surface defects along and close to the edge at the sawtooth sidewall. The predictions from both the n-director-based Ericksen-Leslie theory and the Q-tensor theory are in good agreement with the experimental observations