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Structures generated by instabilities

Turn on the water faucet in your kitchen or your bathroom and study the stream of water as it leaves the faucet: you will see how the stream is soon broken up into droplets. This is a result of the so-called Plateau-Rayleigh instability, driven by energy minimization under the action of surface tension. Several other instabilities can be induced in liquids, variations being introduced by incorporating substrates of different shapes and/or chemistry, as well as by dissolving specific solutes in the liquids. We study such instabilities, sometimes fighting against them, for instance in order to spin continuous fibers using electrospinning, sometimes triggering them deliberately and in a controlled manner, in order to produce discrete entities such as liquid crystalline shells. By playing around with the components involved we can tune the details of the process, and thereby influence the final product. And in the process we see some fascinating physics.

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Three most recent publications

Isotropic-isotropic phase separation and spinodal decomposition in liquid crystal-solvent mixtures, Catherine G. Reyes, Jörg Baller, Takeaki Araki and Jan P. F. Lagerwall , soft matter, 2019,15, 6044-6054

Liquid crystal elastomer shell actuators with negative order parameter, V. S. R. Jampani, R. H. Volpe, K. Reguengo de Sousa, J. Ferreira Machado, C. M. Yakacki and J. P. F. Lagerwall, Sci.adv.,DOI 10.1126/sciadv.aaw2476

Influence of head group and chain length of surfactants using for stabilising liquid crystal shells,
Anjali Sharma and J.P.F. Lagerwall,
Liquid crystals, DOI 10.1080/02678292.2018.1509391

More publications can be found here.