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Structure and Dynamics of Anisotropic Soft Matter

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The Mathematics of Liquid Crystals

This paper presents theory and modeling of structure and dynamics of three representative anisotropic soft matter materials :(i) confined nematics ; (ii) membranes and surfactant-laden interfaces, and (iii) fiber-filled soft membranes, highlighting the interactions between geometry, order parameters, and material anisotropy. (i)Confined nematics are described using nematodynamics in the bulk, at surfaces and contact lines and used to analyze cholesteric collagen solutions under shear and in film casting processes and demonstrate how liquid crystalline polymer models are able to resolve experimentally observed flow-alignment, banded textures, and free surface undulations. (ii) Membranes are described using membrano-dynamics, which extends the Helfrich-Boussinesq-Scriven model by accounting for bending and torsion dissipation, and is used to establish direct connections between membrane shape and rheology. Lastly we describe (iii) fiber-filled membranes using the integration of nemato-dynamics and membrano-dynamics and apply the theory to plant cell walls, where the paranematic order of the cellulose semiflexible fibrils is coupled to the soft pectin-based membrane curvature, as reported experimentally.

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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