Dissipative structures induced by photoisomerization in a dye-doped nematic liquid crystal layer
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Order–disorder phase transitions driven by temperature or light in soft matter materials exhibit complex dissipative structures. Here, we investigate the spatio-temporal phenomena induced by light in a dye-doped nematic liquid crystal layer. Experimentally, for planar anchoring of the nematic layer and high enough input power, photoisomerization processes induce a nematic–isotropic phase transition mediated by interface propagation between the two phases. In the case of a twisted nematic layer and for intermediate input power, the light induces a spatially modulated phase, which exhibits stripe patterns. The pattern originates as an instability mediated by interface propagation between the modulated and the homogeneous nematic states. Theoretically, the phase transition, emergence of stripe patterns and front dynamics are described on the basis of a proposed model for the dopant concentration coupled with the nematic order parameter. Numerical simulations show quite a fair agreement with the experimental observations.
Artículo de publicación SCOPUS