Liquid crystals with patterned molecular orientation as an electrolytic active medium

Chenhui Peng, Yubing Guo, Christopher Conklin, Jorge Viñals, Sergij V. Shiyanovskii, Qi Huo Wei, Oleg D. Lavrentovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Transport of fluids and particles at the microscale is an important theme in both fundamental and applied science. One of the most successful approaches is to use an electric field, which requires the system to carry or induce electric charges. We describe a versatile approach to generate electrokinetic flows by using a liquid crystal (LC) with surface-patterned molecular orientation as an electrolyte. The surface patterning is produced by photoalignment. In the presence of an electric field, the spatially varying orientation induces space charges that trigger flows of the LC. The active patterned LC electrolyte converts the electric energy into the LC flows and transport of embedded particles of any type (fluid, solid, gaseous) along a predesigned trajectory, posing no limitation on the electric nature (charge, polarizability) of these particles and interfaces. The patterned LC electrolyte exhibits a quadratic field dependence of the flow velocities; it induces persistent vortices of controllable rotation speed and direction that are quintessential for micro- and nanoscale mixing applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number052502
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Volume92
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 3 2015

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Liquid Crystal
liquid crystals
Electrolyte
Charge
electrolytes
electric charge
microbalances
Electric Field
Fluid
Quadratic field
electric fields
fluids
electrokinetics
Patterning
Trigger
Convert
Vortex
space charge
flow velocity
actuators

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Liquid crystals with patterned molecular orientation as an electrolytic active medium. / Peng, Chenhui; Guo, Yubing; Conklin, Christopher; Viñals, Jorge; Shiyanovskii, Sergij V.; Wei, Qi Huo; Lavrentovich, Oleg D.

In: Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics, Vol. 92, No. 5, 052502, 03.11.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Peng, Chenhui ; Guo, Yubing ; Conklin, Christopher ; Viñals, Jorge ; Shiyanovskii, Sergij V. ; Wei, Qi Huo ; Lavrentovich, Oleg D. / Liquid crystals with patterned molecular orientation as an electrolytic active medium. In: Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics. 2015 ; Vol. 92, No. 5.
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