(This article was published on EurekAlert! on April 19, 2021)

 

Liquid Crystals (LC) are widely deployed in display technology and optical fibres. From smartphones in your pockets to large screen TVs, LCs are everywhere, as this special state of matter has been found in colorful soap bubbles as well as certain living tissues.

 

But LCs are by no means limited to use in gadgets or electronic devices. For quite some time, scientists have been studying the possibility of creating "active nematics", a particular class of active LCs, which consist of self-driven units capable of converting chemical or other forms of energy into motion. Read more... 

 

Simulation snapshot of a self-propelling topological defect in an active liquid crystal guided by a light pattern (shone in pink region)
Scientific Breakthroughs & Discoveries