Retrieving the saddle-splay elastic constant K24 of nematic liquid crystals from an algebraic approach

  • Sébastien Fumeron
  • Fernando Moraes
  • Erms Pereira
Regular Article


The physics of light interference experiments is well established for nematic liquid crystals. Using well-known techniques, it is possible to obtain important quantities, such as the differential scattering cross section and the saddl-splay elastic constant K24. However, the usual methods to retrieve the latter involve adjusting of computational parameters through visual comparisons between the experimental light interference pattern or a 2 H-NMR spectral pattern produced by an escaped-radial disclination, and their computational simulation counterparts. To avoid such comparisons, we develop an algebraic method for obtaining of saddle-splay elastic constant K24. Considering an escaped-radial disclination inside a capillary tube with radius R0 of tens of micrometers, we use a metric approach to study the propagation of the light (in the scalar wave approximation), near the surface of the tube and to determine the light interference pattern due to the defect. The latter is responsible for the existence of a well-defined interference peak associated to a unique angle \( \phi_{0}\) . Since this angle depends on factors such as refractive indexes, curvature elastic constants, anchoring regime, surface anchoring strength and radius R0, the measurement of \( \phi_{0}\) from the interference experiments involving two different radii allows us to algebraically retrieve K24. Our method allowed us to give the first reported estimation of K24 for the lyotropic chromonic liquid crystal Sunset Yellow FCF: K 24 = 2.1 pN.

Graphical abstract


Soft Matter: Liquid crystals 


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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences, SIF, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sébastien Fumeron
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fernando Moraes
    • 3
    • 4
  • Erms Pereira
    • 5
  1. 1.Institut Jean LamourUniversité de LorraineVandæuvre les NancyFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire dÉnergétique et de Mécanique Théorique et AppliquéeCNRS UMR 7563, Nancy UniversitéVandoeuvre CedexFrance
  3. 3.Departamento de Física, CCENUniversidade Federal da ParaíbaJoão Pessoa, PBBrazil
  4. 4.Departamento de FísicaUniversidade Federal Rural de PernambucoRecife, PEBrazil
  5. 5.Escola Politécnica de PernambucoUniversidade de PernambucoRecife, PEBrazil

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