J. Phys. II France
Volume 3, Numéro 9, September 1993
Page(s) 1387 - 1396
DOI: 10.1051/jp2:1993209
J. Phys. II France 3 (1993) 1387-1396

Flow alignment of nematics under oscillatory shear

A.P. Krekhov1, L. Kramer2, A. Buka3 and A.N. Chuvirov1

1  Physics Department, Bashkirian Research Center, Russian Academy of Sciences, 450025 Ufa, Russia
2  Institute of Physics, University of Bayreuth, D-95440 Bayreuth, Germany
3  KFKI-Research Institute for Solid State Physics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, H-1525 Budapest, P.O.B.49. Hungary

(Received 1 April 1993, accepted 2 June 1993)

Using a simple averaging method we show that under plane oscillatory shear a net torque acts on the director of a nematic liquid crystal leading to unexpected flow alignment. Under quite general conditions the usual flow-alignment orientations are unstable, and the orientation parallel to the shear (perpendicular to the velocity) becomes most stable within the shear plane. The effect drops out exactly under (unrealistic) linear shear unless the director has a nontrivial space dependence. An explicit application to plane Poiseuille flow is presented. Preliminary experimental data are shown which demonstrate a transition under planar oscillatory shear from a homeotropically aligned nematic to a spatially homogeneously deformed state.

61.30G - 47.20

© Les Editions de Physique 1993