Mathematical Sciences Department, Analysis/PDE Seminar - Lidia Mrad, Mount Holyoke College "Nematic liquid crystals in microfluidic channels" (SL 411)
Mathematical Sciences Department
Lidia Mrad, Mount Holyoke College
Monday, February 27, 2023
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Salisbury Labs 411
Title: Nematic liquid crystals in microfluidic channels
Abstract: Molecules of a nematic liquid crystal tend to align along preferred directions, producing partially-ordered material. This results in peculiar physical properties that render them useful in a range of applications, including their widespread use in optical displays. When confined to thin channels, the fluid flow extends the applications of nematics further to optofluidic devices and guided micro-cargo transport. We examine the intrinsic coupling between the fluid motion and the orientation of nematic molecules by considering steady unidirectional flows. We work within a reduced Beris-Edwards framework which leads to a system of nonlinear and coupled differential equations. Our analytical and numerical results describe order reconstruction solutions, where samples have distinct sub-domains separated by domain walls with each sub-domain possessing different orientation.