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  Curling liquid crystal microswimmers: A cascade of spontaneous symmetry breaking.

Krüger, C., Klös, G., Bahr, C., & Maass, C. C. (2016). Curling liquid crystal microswimmers: A cascade of spontaneous symmetry breaking. Physical Review Letters, 117(4): 048003. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.048003.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002B-152B-3 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-3E1B-9
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Krüger, Carsten1, Author              
Klös, Gunnar2, Author              
Bahr, Christian3, Author              
Maass, Corinna C.2, Author              
Affiliations:
1Group Granular matter and irreversibility, Department of Dynamics of Complex Fluids, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society, ou_2063306              
2Group Active soft matter, Department of Dynamics of Complex Fluids, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society, ou_2063307              
3Group Structure formation in soft matter, Department of Dynamics of Complex Fluids, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society, ou_2063301              

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 Abstract: We report curling self-propulsion in aqueous emulsions of common mesogenic compounds. Nematic liquid crystal droplets self-propel in a surfactant solution with concentrations above the critical micelle concentration while undergoing micellar solubilization [Herminghaus et al., Soft Matter 10, 7008 (2014)]. We analyzed trajectories both in a Hele-Shaw geometry and in a 3D setup at variable buoyancy. The coupling between the nematic director field and the convective flow inside the droplet leads to a second symmetry breaking which gives rise to curling motion in 2D. This is demonstrated through a reversible transition to nonhelical persistent swimming by heating to the isotropic phase. Furthermore, autochemotaxis can spontaneously break the inversion symmetry, leading to helical trajectories in 3D.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2016-07-212016-07-22
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
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 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.048003
 Degree: -

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Title: Physical Review Letters
Source Genre: Journal
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Pages: 5 Volume / Issue: 117 (4) Sequence Number: 048003 Start / End Page: - Identifier: -