Dynamic dissipative solitons in nematics with positive anisotropies

Yuan Shen, Ingo Dierking

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Electric field induced instabilities of nematic molecules are of importance for both fundamental science and practical applications. Complex electro-hydrodynamic (EHD) effects such as electro-convection, fingerprint textures, spatiotemporal chaos, and solitons in nematics have been broadly investigated and generated much attention. In this work, dissipative solitons as a novel EHD phenomenon are realized in nematics with positive anisotropies, presumably for the first time. Unlike the ones reported recently in nematics with negative anisotropies whose formation and dynamics are mainly attributed to the flexoelectric and electro-convection effects, the solitons discussed here arise from the nonlinear coupling between the director field and the isotropic flow induced by ion motion. The structure and dynamics of the solitons are demonstrated and the influences of chirality, azimuthal anchoring and ion concentration are also investigated. Finally, we show that the propagation trajectory of solitons can be manipulated by patterned photoalignment and micro-particles can be trapped by them as vehicles for micro-cargo transport.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5325-5333
JournalSoft Matter
Issue number22
Early online date25 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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