New Jersey Institute of Technology
Department of Mathematical Sciences

Capstone Laboratory

Instabilities of Liquid Crystals

Supported by NSF Grant NO. DMS-0908158; PI: Cummings; Co-PI: Kondic

Instructor: Lou Kondic

Lab Assistants: Te-Sheng Lin

This project explored instabilities occurring during spreading of liquid crystals on solid surfaces and consisted of experimental, computational, and modeling component. The experimental group carried table top experiments with 5CB liquid crystal in nematic phase spreading on horizontal and inclined substrates, with the idea of exploring the influence of complex liquid crystal rheology on the spreading behavior. The figure shows an example of intricate patterns that were observed.

In combination with experiments, modeling and computational projects have considered various features of liquid crystal dynamics, such as different types in instabilities and their interplay.