Bulletin of the American Physical Society
APS March Meeting 2021
Monday–Friday, March 15–19, 2021; Virtual; Time Zone: Central Daylight Time, USA
Session B09: Non-Equilibrium Bioinspired Modes of Assembling Materials
11:30 AM–2:30 PM,
Monday, March 15, 2021
Sponsoring Unit: DSOFT
Chair: Roy Beck, Tel Aviv University; Cecilia Leal, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Abstract: B09.00002 : Pattern Formation from Instabilities in Liquid Crystals
12:06 PM–12:42 PM
The invasion of one fluid into another of higher viscosity is unstable in a quasi-two dimensional geometry. In isotropic systems, this viscous-fingering instability typically produces complex patterns that are characterized by repeated branching of the evolving structure, which leads to the common morphologies of fractal or dense-branching growth. In anisotropic systems, in contrast, the growth morphology changes to a highly ordered dendritic growth characterized by stable needle-like structures. We investigate such morphology transitions between dendritic growth and dense-branching growth in an intrinsically anisotropic liquid; a lyotropic chromonic liquid crystal in the nematic phase. We show that the transition is remarkably sensitive to the interface velocity and the viscosity ratio between the less-viscous inner fluid and the more-viscous outer liquid crystal. We discuss the importance of a stable shear alignment and the emergence of defect structures in the liquid crystal in governing the morphology transition to dendritic growth.
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