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Liquid Crystals and their Application
Russian Journal

Zhidkie kristally i ikh prakticheskoe ispol'zovanie

Жидкие кристаллы и их практическое использование

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Rus Eng


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Zhidk. krist. ikh prakt. ispol'z. = Liq. Cryst. and their Appl., 2014, 14 (3), 68—74.

Curvature Induced Topological Defects in Nematic Shells

D. Jesenek1,2, S. Kralj1,2,3

Author affiliations
1Jozef Stefan Institute,
Slovenia, 1000, Ljubljana, Jamova, 39
2Jozef Stefan International Postgraduate School,
Slovenia, 1000, Ljubljana, Jamova, 39
3Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, University of Maribor,
Slovenia, 2000, Koroska, 160

We study numerically impact of spatially varying curvature on position and number of topological defects (TDs). A two-dimensional Landau-de Gennes tensorial formalism is used. We focus on TDs in axially symmetric dumb-bell structures, possessing area patches exhibiting both positive and negative Gaussian curvature. These nematic shells exhibit spherical topology, enforcing the total topological charge mtot=2. We show that on progressively narrowing necks of dumb-bell structures the number of TDs increases via nucleation of topological defect-antidefect pairs. In each surface patch, characterised by a well defined average Gaussian curvature, the sum of TDs and the total smeared Gaussian topological charge tends to be zero. Therefore, in dumb-bell structures TDs tend to spatially redistribute in a way to compensate the smeared Gaussian curvature topological charge.

Keywords: liquid crystals, nematic shells, Gaussian curvature, topological defects

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