Frustrated rotations in nematic monolayers
Physique de la Matiére Condensée, Collége de France, Paris, France
Published online: 16 June 2004
Tabe and Yokoyama found recently that the optical axis in a chiral monolayer of a ferronematic rotates when water evaporates from the bath: the chiral molecules act as propellers. When the axis is blocked at the lateral walls of the trough, the accumulated rotation inside creates huge splays and bends. We discuss the relaxation of these tensions, assuming that a single dust particle nucleates disclination pairs. For the simplest geometry, we then predict a long delay time followed by a non-periodic sequence of “bursts”. These ideas are checked by numerical simulations.
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, and Springer-Verlag, 2004