From Event: SPIE Organic Photonics + Electronics, 2015
Geometrical constrains and intrinsic chirality in nematic mesophases enable formation of stable and metastable complex defect structures. Recently selected knotted and linked disclinations have been formed using laser manipulation of nematic braids entangling colloidal particles in nematic colloids [Tkalec et al., Science 2011; Copar et al., PNAS 2015]. In unwinded chiral nematic phases stable and metastable toron and hopfion defects have been implemented by laser tweezers [Smalyukh et al., Nature Materials 2010; Chen et al., PRL2013] and in chiral nematic colloids particles dressed by solitonic deformations [Porenta et al., Sci. Rep. 2014]. Modelling studies based on the numerical minimisation of the phenomenological free energy, supported with the adapted topological theory [Copar and Zumer, PRL 2011; Copar, Phys. Rep. 2014] allow describing the observed nematic defect structures and also predicting numerous structures in confined blue phases [Fukuda and Zumer, Nature Comms 2011 and PRL 2011] and stable knotted disclinations in cholesteric droplets with homeotropic boundary [Sec et al., Nature Comms 2014]. Coupling the modeling with finite difference time domain light field computation enables understanding of light propagation and light induced restructuring in these mesophases. The method was recently demonstrated for the description of low intensity light beam changes during the propagation along disclination lines [Brasselet et al., PRL 2009; Cancula et al., PRE 2014]. Allowing also high intensity light an order restructuring is induced [Porenta et al., Soft Matter 2012; Cancula et al., 2015]. These approaches help to uncover the potential of topological structures for beyond-display optical and photonic applications.
Slobodan Žumer, Miha Čančula, Simon Čopar, and Miha Ravnik, "Complex topological structures of frustrated liquid crystals with potential for optics and photonics (Presentation Recording)," Proc. SPIE 9565, Liquid Crystals XIX, 95650W (Presented at SPIE Organic Photonics + Electronics: August 10, 2015; Published: 5 October 2015); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2190237.4519371790001.
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