Sensing and tuning microfiber chirality with nematic chirogyral effect

Simon Čopar, David Seč, Luis E. Aguirre, Pedro L. Almeida, Mallory Dazza, Miha Ravnik, Maria H. Godinho, Pawel Pieranski, Slobodan Žumer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Microfibers with their elongated shape and translation symmetry can act as important components in various soft materials, notably for their mechanics on the microscopic level. Here we demonstrate the mechanical response of a micro-object to imposed chirality, in this case, the tilt of disclination rings in an achiral nematic medium caused by the chiral surface anchoring on an immersed microfiber. This coupling between chirality and mechanical response, used to demonstrate sensing of chirality of electrospun cellulose microfibers, is revealed in the optical micrographs due to anisotropy in the elastic response of the host medium. We provide an analytical explanation of the chirogyral effect supported with numerical simulations and perform an experiment to test the effect of the cell confinement and fiber size. We controllably twist the microfibers and demonstrate the response of the nematic medium. More generally the demonstrated study provides means for experimental discrimination of surface properties and allows mechanical control over the shape of disclination rings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number032703
JournalPhysical Review E
Volume93
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2016

Keywords

  • Condensed matter physics
  • Chiral surface
  • Chirality
  • Disclination rings
  • Elastic response
  • Microscopic levels

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