Mixtures of blue phase liquid crystal with simple liquids: elastic emulsions and cubic fluid cylinders

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Abstract

We investigate numerically the behaviour of a phase-separating mixture of a blue phase I liquid crystal with an isotropic fluid. The resulting morphology is primarily controlled by an inverse capillary number, $\chi$, setting the balance between interfacial and elastic forces. When $\chi$ and the concentration of the isotropic component are both low, the blue phase disclination lattice templates a cubic array of fluid cylinders. For larger $\chi$, the isotropic phase arranges primarily into liquid emulsion droplets which coarsen very slowly, rewiring the blue phase disclination lines into an amorphous elastic network. Our blue phase/simple fluid composites can be externally manipulated: an electric field can trigger a morphological transition between cubic fluid cylinder phases with different topologies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume121
Issue number3
Early online date5 Jul 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2018

Keywords

  • cond-mat.soft

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