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Title: Spontaneous emergence of chirality in achiral lyotropic chromonic liquid crystals confined to cylinders

Abstract

Here, the presumed ground state of a nematic fluid confined in a cylindrical geometry with planar anchoring corresponds to that of an axial configuration, wherein the director, free of deformations, is along the long axis of the cylinder. However, upon confinement of lyotropic chromonic liquid crystals in cylindrical geometries, here we uncover a surprising ground state corresponding to a doubly twisted director configuration. The stability of this ground state, which involves significant director deformations, can be rationalized by the saddle-splay contribution to the free energy. We show that sufficient anisotropy in the elastic constants drives the transition from a deformation-free ground state to a doubly twisted structure, and results in spontaneous symmetry breaking with equal probability for either handedness. Enabled by the twist angle measurements of the spontaneous twist, we determine the saddlesplay elastic constant for chromonic liquid crystals for the first time.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Kent State Univ., Kent, OH (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES)
OSTI Identifier:
1459179
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0001412
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 6; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY

Citation Formats

Nayani, Karthik, Chang, Rui, Fu, Jinxin, Ellis, Perry W., Fernandez-Nieves, Alberto, Park, Jung Ok, and Srinivasarao, Mohan. Spontaneous emergence of chirality in achiral lyotropic chromonic liquid crystals confined to cylinders. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.1038/ncomms9067.
Nayani, Karthik, Chang, Rui, Fu, Jinxin, Ellis, Perry W., Fernandez-Nieves, Alberto, Park, Jung Ok, & Srinivasarao, Mohan. Spontaneous emergence of chirality in achiral lyotropic chromonic liquid crystals confined to cylinders. United States. doi:https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms9067
Nayani, Karthik, Chang, Rui, Fu, Jinxin, Ellis, Perry W., Fernandez-Nieves, Alberto, Park, Jung Ok, and Srinivasarao, Mohan. Wed . "Spontaneous emergence of chirality in achiral lyotropic chromonic liquid crystals confined to cylinders". United States. doi:https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms9067. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1459179.
@article{osti_1459179,
title = {Spontaneous emergence of chirality in achiral lyotropic chromonic liquid crystals confined to cylinders},
author = {Nayani, Karthik and Chang, Rui and Fu, Jinxin and Ellis, Perry W. and Fernandez-Nieves, Alberto and Park, Jung Ok and Srinivasarao, Mohan},
abstractNote = {Here, the presumed ground state of a nematic fluid confined in a cylindrical geometry with planar anchoring corresponds to that of an axial configuration, wherein the director, free of deformations, is along the long axis of the cylinder. However, upon confinement of lyotropic chromonic liquid crystals in cylindrical geometries, here we uncover a surprising ground state corresponding to a doubly twisted director configuration. The stability of this ground state, which involves significant director deformations, can be rationalized by the saddle-splay contribution to the free energy. We show that sufficient anisotropy in the elastic constants drives the transition from a deformation-free ground state to a doubly twisted structure, and results in spontaneous symmetry breaking with equal probability for either handedness. Enabled by the twist angle measurements of the spontaneous twist, we determine the saddlesplay elastic constant for chromonic liquid crystals for the first time.},
doi = {10.1038/ncomms9067},
journal = {Nature Communications},
number = 1,
volume = 6,
place = {United States},
year = {2015},
month = {8}
}

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Cited by: 33 works
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