Condensed Matter Seminar: Toroidal droplets – Breakup, Stabilization and Nematic order

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 16:00 - 18:00
Professor, Alberto Fernandez-Nieves, Georgia Tech

In this talk, we will discuss the generation of toroidal droplets and their stabilization against surface-tension-driven instabilities using yield stress materials. We will then discuss what happens when the drops are made out of nematic liquid crystal. In this case, when the anchoring is planar degenerate, we find that the director spontaneously twists and that the twisted structure remains irrespective of how thin or fat the tori are. Our interpretation is that this results from saddle-splay contributions to the Frank free energy of the system. We will also discuss preliminary results for the case of perpendicular anchoring, where both structures with and without defects are observed as a function of the surface anchoring strength, and for droplets with more than one handle.