A thin liquid crystal film on a surface of photoactive dye turns into a wonderland of exotic moving patterns if illuminated by a simple lamp. Spirals move and oscillate across the surface in the form of advancing wavefronts, encountering and annihilating each other. This represents an especially attractive model system for studying dynamic, non-equilibrium patterns, also found in biological, chemical, and physical systems ranging from organization of slime mold cells to crystal growth from nuclei with screw dislocations. This work has been published in "Light-Driven Dynamic Archimedes Spirals and Periodic Oscillatory Patterns of Topological Solitons in Anisotropic Soft Matter," A. Martinez, I.I. Smalyukh, Optics Express 23, 4591-4604 (2015).

Groups: Smalyukh, Walba
(February 2015)

archimedes spirals
The texture of a thin liquid crystal film on a surface covered with the photoactive dye dMR.


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