5 years ago

Cross-talk between topological defects in different fields revealed by nematic microfluidics [Applied Physical Sciences]

Cross-talk between topological defects in different fields revealed by nematic microfluidics [Applied Physical Sciences]
Žiga Kos, Anupam Sengupta, Miha Ravnik, Luca Giomi

Topological defects are singularities in material fields that play a vital role across a range of systems: from cosmic microwave background polarization to superconductors and biological materials. Although topological defects and their mutual interactions have been extensively studied, little is known about the interplay between defects in different fields—especially when they coevolve—within the same physical system. Here, using nematic microfluidics, we study the cross-talk of topological defects in two different material fields—the velocity field and the molecular orientational field. Specifically, we generate hydrodynamic stagnation points of different topological charges at the center of star-shaped microfluidic junctions, which then interact with emergent topological defects in the orientational field of the nematic director. We combine experiments and analytical and numerical calculations to show that a hydrodynamic singularity of a given topological charge can nucleate a nematic defect of equal topological charge and corroborate this by creating 1−1, 2−2, and 3−3 topological defects in four-, six-, and eight-arm junctions. Our work is an attempt toward understanding materials that are governed by distinctly multifield topology, where disparate topology-carrying fields are coupled and concertedly determine the material properties and response.

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.