J. Phys. II France
Volume 7, Numéro 4, April 1997
Page(s) 583 - 601
DOI: 10.1051/jp2:1997146
J. Phys. II France 7 (1997) 583-601

On Some Elastic Instabilities in Biaxial Nematics

Sreejith Sukumaran and G.S. Ranganath

Raman Research Institute, C.V. Raman Avenue, Sadashivanagar, Bangalore 560080, India

(Received 19 June 1996, revised 15 October 1996, accepted 7 January 1997)

Within the framework of the continuum elastic theory of biaxial nematic liquid crystals, we have addressed ourselves to the structure, stability and energetics of some singular and non-singular topological defects, and certain director configurations. We find that certain non-singular hybrid disclinations could be energetically favourable relative to certain half-strength disclinations. The interaction between singular hybrids depends strongly on the biaxial elastic anisotropy. We suggest possible defect structures that can exist in spherical droplets of biaxial nematics. Further we find structural instabilities, in confined geometries, arising due to the inherent biaxiality of the system.

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