|Institution:||Kent State University|
|Department:||College of Arts and Sciences / Department of Chemical Physics|
|Keywords:||Physics; Liquid crystal, statistical physics, nematic shell, orientational order, liquid crystal elastomer, nematic glass, vesicle, differential geometry|
|Full text PDF:||http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=kent1421895006|
Long range orientational order of nematic liquid crystals has been an inspiration for both theoretical works and practical applications. Using a combination of analytic calculations and numerical simulations, we investigate the interplay between orientational order and geometric constraints. In the first part of this dissertation, we concentrate on nematic order in liquid membranes, where the curvature induces non-uniformity and vice versa. Variations in nematic order, especially near topological defects, play an essential role in the interaction with curvature. In the second part, we consider the combination of the anisotropy of nematic liquid crystals with the large reversible deformations of elastomers as a mechanism for programmable deformations in soft materials.