Tailored morphologies in two-dimensional ferronematic wells

Bisht, Konark and Wang, Yiwei and Banerjee, Varsha and Majumdar, Apala (2020) Tailored morphologies in two-dimensional ferronematic wells. Physical Review E, 101 (2). 022706. ISSN 2470-0053 (https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.101.022706)

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We focus on a dilute uniform suspension of magnetic nanoparticles in a nematic-filled micron-sized shallow well with tangent boundary conditions as a paradigm system with two coupled order parameters. This system exhibits spontaneous magnetization without magnetic fields. We numerically obtain the stable nematic and associated magnetization morphologies, induced purely by the geometry, the boundary conditions, and the coupling between the magnetic nanoparticles and the host nematic medium. Our most striking observations pertain to domain walls in the magnetization profile, whose location can be manipulated by the coupling and material properties, and stable interior and boundary nematic defects, whose location and multiplicity can be tailored by the coupling too. These tailored morphologies are not accessible in uncoupled systems and can be used for multistable systems with singularities and stable interfaces.