Lifting ordered surfaces : ellipsoidal nematic shells

Mirantsev, Leonid V. and Sonnet, André M. and Virga, Epifanio G. (2018) Lifting ordered surfaces : ellipsoidal nematic shells. Physical Review E, 98. 012701. ISSN 2470-0053 (

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When a material surface is functionalized so as to acquire some type of order, functionalization of which soft condensed matter systems have recently provided many interesting examples, the modeller faces an alternative. Either the order is described on the curved, physical surface where it belongs, or it is described on a flat surface that is unrolled as pre-image of the physical surface under a suitable height function. This paper applies a general method that pursues the latter avenue by lifting whatever order tensor is deemed appropriate from a flat to a curved surface. We specialize this method to nematic shells, for which it also provides a simple, but perhaps convincing interpretation of the outcomes of some molecular-dynamics experiments on ellipsoidal shells.


Mirantsev, Leonid V., Sonnet, André M. ORCID logoORCID: and Virga, Epifanio G.;