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Decay of Spatially Periodic Patterns in a Nematic Liquid Crystal

Nandor Eber ,Stanislaw A Rozanski ,Szilard Nemeth ,Agnes B uka ,Werner Pesch ,Lorenz Kramer

Research Institute for Solid State Physics and Optics
University of Bayreuth

A detailed theoretical and experimental analysis of the decay of electroconvection patterns is presented in a planarly aligned nematic liquid crystal. The relaxation time is measured as a function of the wavenumber of the pattern using a light diffraction technique. A theoretical analysis exhibits a rich structure of the dispersion curves for the decay rates. An interesting relation between the realistic case of no-slip boundary conditions and the simpler free-slip case is found. The experimentally determined relaxation rates for both 'conductive' and 'dielectric' initial patterns follow the theoretical solution with subsequent jumps between branches when the wavenumber is increased.

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