Flow patterns and disclination-density measurements in sheared nematic liquid crystals i: Flow-aligning 5cb

P. T. Mather, D. S. Pearson, R. G. Larson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report the first direct measurements of disclination density during shear flow of a nematic liquid crystal. Samples of 4,4'-n-pentylcyanobiphenyl, or 5CB, are initially aligned in the homeotropic configuration within a torsional shear cell using surface treatment with lecithin. For low shearing rates, the director rotates within the shearing plane, except near the axis of rotation where irregular time-dependent out-of-plane orientation patterns exist. Disclinations form above a threshold shear rate, with the first ‘thick’ and ‘thin’ disclinations appearing near the sample edge, rapidly multiplying, and subsequently filling the sample. We measure the steady-state disclination density, pA, the length of disclinations per unit projection area. The dimensionless disclination density, pAh, where h is the sample thickness, is found to depend on two dimensionless quantities: Er, the Erickson number, and (Formula Presented), the scaled radial position. In the limit of large (Formula Presented), the dependence of pA on r disappears and we find the empirical relation pAh ∝ Er0.63.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)527-538
Number of pages12
JournalLiquid Crystals
Volume20
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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