Active control of the free surface of a rivulet of a nematic liquid crystal with an electric field

Bhadwal, Akhshay S. and Cousins, Joseph R.L. and Mottram, Nigel J. and Wilson, Stephen K. and Duffy, Brian R. and Sage, Ian C. and Brown, Carl V. (2024) Active control of the free surface of a rivulet of a nematic liquid crystal with an electric field. Physical Review Fluids. ISSN 2469-990X (In Press)

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Abstract

Active control of a rivulet of a nematic liquid crystal is achieved by local modification of the effective viscosity with an applied electric field. Specifically, using the nematic 5CB, control of the free surface of the rivulet is achieved through manipulation of the effective viscosity induced by the competition of moments due to viscous shear stress alignment and electric field alignment. The experimentally observed dependencies of the rivulet height on the volume flux and the strength of the applied electric field are successfully captured by a theoretical model based on the Ericksen–Leslie equations.