Electrically induced transformations of defects in cholesteric layer with tangential-conical boundary conditions

Mikhail N. Krakhalev, Oxana O. Prishchepa, Vitaly S. Sutormin, Rashid G. Bikbaev, Ivan V. Timofeev & Victor Ya. Zyryanov. Scientific Reports volume 10, Article number: 4907 (2020). DOI https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-61713-9

Electric-field-induced changes of the orientational structures of cholesteric liquid crystal layer with the tangential-conical boundary conditions have been investigated. The samples with the ratio of the cholesteric layer thickness d to the helix pitch p equalled to 0.57 have been considered. The perpendicularly applied electric field causes a decrease of the azimuthal director angle at the substrate with the conical surface anchoring. In the cells with d = 22 μm, the defect loops having the under-twisted and over-twisted areas are formed. At the defect loop the pair of point peculiarities is observed where the 180° jump of azimuthal angle of the director occurs. Under the action of electric field the loops shrink and disappear. In the cells with d = 13 μm, the over-twisted and under-twisted defect lines are formed. Applied voltage results in the shortening of lines or/and their transformation into a defect of the third type. The director field distribution near defect lines of three types has been investigated by the polarising microscopy techniques. It has been revealed that the length ratio between the over-twisted and third-type defect lines can be controlled by the electric field.