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  Topological stabilization and dynamics of self-propelling nematic shells

Vajdi Hokmabad, B., Baldwin, K. A., Krüger, C., Bahr, C., & Maass, C. C. (2019). Topological stabilization and dynamics of self-propelling nematic shells. Physical Review Letters, 123(17): 178003. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.123.178003.

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 Creators:
Vajdi Hokmabad, Babak1, Author              
Baldwin, Kyle A.1, Author              
Krüger, Carsten2, Author              
Bahr, Christian3, Author              
Maass, Corinna C.1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Group Active soft matter, Department of Dynamics of Complex Fluids, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society, ou_2063307              
2Group Granular matter and irreversibility, Department of Dynamics of Complex Fluids, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society, ou_2063306              
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: Liquid shells (e.g., double emulsions, vesicles, etc.) are susceptible to interfacial instability and rupturing when driven out of mechanical equilibrium. This poses a significant challenge for the design of liquid-shell-based micromachines, where the goal is to maintain stability and dynamical control in combination with motility. Here, we present our solution to this problem with controllable self-propelling liquid shells, which we have stabilized using the soft topological constraints imposed by a nematogen oil. We demonstrate, through experiments and simulations, that anisotropic elasticity can counterbalance the destabilizing effect of viscous drag induced by shell motility and inhibit rupturing. We analyze their propulsion dynamics and identify a peculiar meandering behavior driven by a combination of topological and chemical spontaneously broken symmetries. Based on our understanding of these symmetry breaking mechanisms, we provide routes to control shell motion via topology, chemical signaling, and hydrodynamic interactions.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2019-10-232019
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.123.178003
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Title: Physical Review Letters
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Woodbury, N.Y. : American Physical Society
Pages: 5 Volume / Issue: 123 (17) Sequence Number: 178003 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 0031-9007
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925433406_1