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Three-dimensional imaging of liquid crystal structures and defects by means of holographic manipulation of colloidal nanowires with faceted sidewalls

Journal article
Authors David Engström
Rahul P. Trivedi
Martin Persson
Mattias Goksör
Kris A. Bertness
Ivan I. Smalyukh
Published in Soft Matter
Volume 7
Pages 6304-6312
Publication year 2011
Published at Department of Physics (GU)
Pages 6304-6312
Language en
Subject categories Optics, Defects and diffusion


We use nanowires with faceted sidewalls for mapping of the patterns of three-dimensional orientational order and defect structures. In chiral nematics, the nanowires follow the local average orientation of rod-shaped molecules. When spatially translated by use of holographic optical tweezers in three dimensions, they mediate direct nondestructive visualization of the helicoidal ground-state structures, edge and screw dislocations, and kinks, as well as enable non-contact manipulation of these defects. We probe interactions of faceted nanowires with different defects and demonstrate their spontaneous self-alignment along the cores of singular defect lines.

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