Jun-Ichi Fukuda: Exotic structures and their optical properties of a thin cell of a chiral liquid crystal
We show numerically that a chiral liquid crystal (LC) with strong chirality, when confined in a thin cell, exhibits various exotic ordered structures, depending on temperature, cell thickness and the type of surface anchoring. Such structures include a hexagonal lattice of Skyrmions, swirl-like excitations that have been attracting considerable interest in condensed matter physics. We also investigate the optical properties of such structures, especially focusing on their Kossel diagrams and microscope images. Calculation of the response of the LC structure to incident light by directly solving the Maxwell equations enables numerical construction of microscope images and Kossel diagrams.
Numerical Kossel diagrams and microscope images agree well with experimental ones, which demonstrate that the structures found in our numerical calculations are indeed realized experimentally.