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Elastic Interactions Between Optical And Topological Solitons In Chiral Nematic Liquid Crystal, Andy Seracuse
Undergraduate Honors Theses
The research presented in this thesis investigates the elastic director field interactions between optical, spatial solitons and defect structures in frustrated chiral nematic liquid crystals. I characterize experimentally the rich elastic interactions between torons, particle-like localized director field configurations with non-trivial topology, and spatial, optical solitons, which have been previously dubbed nematicons. By exploitation of the waveguide regime for the generation of stable thresholdless nematicons via the reorientational nonlinearity present in thermotropic liquid crystals, I characterize the elastic potential energy surrounding a stationary nematicon and a mobile toron via measurement of toron displacement as a function of time. I compare ...