• Volume 53, Issue 1

      July 1999,   pages  1-242

    • Preface

      N V Madhusudana

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    • Quasi-one dimensional electrical conductivity and thermoelectric power studies on a discotic liquid crystal

      V S K Balagurusamy S Krishna Prasad S Chandrasekhar Sandeep Kumar M Manickam C V Yelamaggad

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      We have studied the electrical conductivity of well aligned samples of hexahexylthiotriphenylene (HHTT) in the pure as well as doped states. The dopant used was a small concentration (0.62 mole %) of the electron acceptor trinitrofluorenone (TNF). In the columnar phases, doping causes the AC(1 kHz) conductivity along the columnar axis (σ) to increase by a factor of 107 or more relative to that in undoped samples; σ attains a value of 10−2S/m, which was the maximum measurable limit of our experimental set up. On the other hand, in the isotropic phase doping makes hardly any difference to the conductivity. The frequency dependence of the conductivity has been investigated. The DC conductivity of doped samples exhibits an enormous anisotropy, σ/σ ≥ 1010, which is 7 orders higher than that reported for any liquid crystalline system, and, to our knowledge, the largest observed in an organic conductor.

      We also report the first thermoelectric power studies on these ‘molecular wires’. The sign of the thermoelectric power is in conformity with the expected nature of the charge carriers, namely, holes.

    • The fragmented state of lipid bilayers in water: Discovery of a lower consolute point

      W Helfrich B Klösgen J Thimmel

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      The bilayers of some typical biological membrane lipids such as PC and DGDG disintegrate in a large excess of water to form an optically invisible dispersive bilayer phase. ‘Dark bodies’ can be reversibly precipitated from it by raising the temperature. The dispersive phase probably consists of ‘knotted sticks’, i.e. very thin nodular tubes of bilayer.

      After reviewing pertinent experimental and theoretical work we report on the discovery of a lower consolute point near room temperature in DGDG/water systems. Its existence shows that the dispersive phase and the dark bodies belong to the same fragmented (or nodular) bilayer state, representing its expanded and condensed phases, respectively, above the critical temperature.

    • Surface controlled nematic bistability

      I Dozov G Durand

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      One discusses phenomenologically the statics and dynamics of surface anchoring of nematic liquid crystals. In statics, for symmetrical situations, one can induce, under the action of an external field, a surface breaking with a bifurcation between two opposite orientations of the director. In dynamics, one shows that the surface director relaxation is intrinsically fast, and accompanied by a transient surface shear flow. In thin cells with planar anchorings, filled by cyanobiphenyl materials which orient normal to the plates under a strong electric field, there are now two effects which couple the relaxation of the surface director: a static one, which favors parallel orientation and a uniform cell texture, and a transient dynamical coupling from the surface flow, which forces π-twisted texture. With suitable electric signals, one can control the surface bifurcations to give at will one of these two bistable textures. Results are presented which show that these mechanisms could lead to a new class of surface controlled, fast nematic bistable displays.

    • Surface adsorption and collapse transition of linear polymer chains

      Yashwant Singh Sanjay Kumar Debaprasad Giri

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      The critical behaviour of surface adsorption and collapse transition of a flexible self-attracting self-avoiding polymer chain is examined. Depending upon the underlying lattice and space dimensionality, phase diagrams that exhibit many different universality domains of critical behavior are found. We discuss these phase diagrams and the values of the critical exponents found from different theoretical methods.

    • Liquid water: A very complex fluid

      H Eugene Stanley

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      Although H2O has been the topic of considerable research since the beginning of the century, the peculiar physical properties are still not well understood. First we discuss some of the anomalies of this ‘complex fluid’. Then we describe a qualitative interpretation in terms of percolation concepts. Finally, we discuss recent experiments and simulations relating to the hyothesis that, in addition to the known critical point in water, there exists a ‘second’ critical point at low temperatures. In particular, we discuss very recent measurements of the compression-induced melting and decompression-induced melting lines of high-pressure forms of ice. We show how knowledge of these lines enables one to obtain an approximation for the Gibbs potential G(P, T) and the equation of state V(P,T) for water, both of which are consistent with the possible continuity of liquid water and the amorphous forms of solid water.

    • Biology and the flow of molecular information

      A J Libchaber

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      The developments during the century in the physical understanding of biological activity are briefly discussed.

    • Phase transitions in Langmuir monolayers

      K A Suresh A Bhattacharyya

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      Some fatty acids, lipids, polymers and mesogenic molecules which are amphiphilic in nature spread at the air-water interface to form stable Langmuir monolayers. They exhibit a rich variety of two-dimensional (2D) phases. In this article, we briefly review some of the novel features we have found in these monolayers. For example, we find transition from a 2D monolayer to three-dimensional structures possessing liquid crystalline order, induced liquid condensed phase, demixing of liquid expanded phase, critical points and pattern formation.

    • The lamellar and sponge phases of dilute surfactant systems: Structures and defects at equilibrium and under shear

      Maurice Kleman

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      We report on the physical properties of swollen solutions of the amphiphilic molecules of cetylpyridinium chloride and hexanol in brine. A remarkable characteristic of this system is the existence of a crossover between dilute and less dilute solutions, in the lamellar phase and the sponge phase, with some interesting consequences for the theory of membranes.

    • Phase separated composite films of liquid crystals

      Valery Vorflusev Jae-Hoon Kim Satyendra Kumar

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      Phase separation of liquid crystals from a solution with polymers has long been studied and used to prepare polymer stabilized and polymer dispersed structures. They are formed by spatially isotropic phase separation. A new mode, in which the phase separation proceeds anisotropically, has recently been discovered. Known as phase separated composite films (PSCOF), the resultant structures are made of adjacent parallel layers of liquid crystal and solidified polymer. PSCOFs have been made with nematic, ferroelectric (FLC), and antiferroelectric (AFLC) liquid crystals. Liquid crystals in PSCOFs exhibit electro-optical properties not observed in devices prepared by conventional methods, polymer dispersion, or polymer stabilization methods. Devices incorporating FLCs possess grey scale and switch 100 times faster at low fields than conventional surface stabilized devices. This method makes it possible to prepare very flexible devices and devices with liquid crystal film thickness comparable to optical wavelengths with great ease.

    • Natural optical activity and liquid crystals

      C Oldano M Becchi

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      Optical activity of matter is related to the chirality of its constitutive molecules. In liquid crystals, chiral molecules can give rise to superstructures in which the local dielectric tensor rotates in space describing a helix, a fact which greatly enhances the optical activity of the medium. The structures and the optical properties of some helical phases are well-known, as for instance the cholesteric and some chiral smectic phases. For short enough helix pitches, the periodic medium can be considered optically as homogeneous and described by the same constitutive equations used to define the optical properties of solid crystals. Such liquid crystal phases represent an ideal tool to apply the methods, used since a long time in optics, to define homogeneous models for non homogeneous media and to discuss their limits of validity. A brief account is given of the main results recently found in this research area.

    • An LCD for the multimedia network age: Polymer stabilized FLCD

      Shunsuke Kobayashi Hirokazu Furue Taiju Takahashi

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      Liquid crystal displays (LCDs) will be classified into miniature displays, reflective type, projection type, direct view type, and holography type. All of these LCDs will be widely utilized in the coming multimedia network era. Along with this trend, in the first part of this paper we will discuss the social background of this research. We will place an emphasis on a polymer stabilized (PS) FLCD that is featured by fast response speed (40 microseconds), high contrast (230: 1) with grayscale, wide viewing angle, and high resolution (400 lp/mm). The PS-FLCD will be promising technology for displaying a moving video image in the multimedia network era.

    • On the ‘listeria’ propulsion mechanism

      F Gerbal V Noireaux C Sykes F Jülicher P Chaikin A Ott J Prost R M Golsteyn E Friederich D Louvard V Laurent M F Carlier

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      We give a short overview of three different aspects of the work done in our laboratory on the propulsion mechanism of the bacterium named ‘listeria’. They concern (1) the mechanical properties of the comet of the native bacterium, (2) the polymerization/crosslinking process of actin gels in spherical geometry, and (3) a theoretical analysis of the mesoscopic aspects of the propulsion.

    • Structure and dynamics of charged macromolecules: Minimal representation of biological systems

      M Muthukumar

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      Structures and functions of various biological macromolecules at cellular levels are controlled by electrostatic, excluded-volume, macromolecular topological connectivity, and hydrodynamic forces. Some aspects of these challenging issues will be addressed. Specifically we will focus our discussions on (a) pattern recognition by macromolecules and complexation, (b) coupling between conformational transitions and phase transitions, (c) chromosomal condensation, (d) collective behavior of charged macromolecules in crowded environments, (e) coupled dynamics of macromolecular assemblies in charged solutions, and (f) polymer transport through pores. Even the simpler synthetic systems exhibit many puzzles which will be resolved using our theoretical formulation. In addition to exploring an understanding of biological processes, the context of fabrication of new synthetic materials will be remarked.

    • Driving matrix liquid crystal displays

      TN Ruckmongathan

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      Liquid crystal displays had a humble beginning with wrist watches in the seventies. Continued research and development in this multi-disciplinary field have resulted in displays with increased size and complexity. After three decades of growth in performance, LCDs now offer a formidable challenge to the cathode ray tubes (CRT).

      A major contribution to the growth of LCD technology has come from the developments in addressing techniques used for driving matrix LCDs. There are several approaches like passive matrix addressing, active matrix addressing and plasma addressing to drive a matrix display.

      Passive matrix LCD has a simple construction and uses the intrinsic non-linear characteristic of the LCD for driving. Departure from conventional line by line addressing of a passive matrix has resulted in improved performance of the display. Orthogonal functions have played a crucial role in the development of passive matrix addressing. Simple orthogonal functions that are useful for driving a matrix LCD are introduced. The basics of driving several rows simultaneously (multi-line addressing) are discussed by drawing analogies from multiplexing in communication. The impact of multi-line addressing techniques on the performance of the passive matrix LCDs in comparison with the conventional technique will be discussed.

    • Molecular structure and chiral liquid crystalline phases

      B K Sadashiva

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      We describe briefly some results obtained on both chiral and achiral compounds exhibiting chiral mesophases. We report the first example of a single component system exhibiting the undulated twist grain boundary C* or UTGBC* phase. Preliminary results concerning a few achiral compounds composed of banana-shaped molecules exhibiting a mesophase is reported. They have been investigated by polarized light optical microscopy, differential scanning calorimetry and x-ray diffraction studies.

    • Linear and nonlinear rheology of wormlike micelles

      A K Sood Ranjini Bandyopadhyay Geetha Basappa

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      Several surfactant molecules self-assemble in solution to form long, cylindrical, flexible wormlike micelles. These micelles can be entangled with each other leading to viscoelastic phases. The rheological properties of such phases are very interesting and have been the subject of a large number of experimental and theoretical studies in recent years. We shall report our recent work on the macrorheology, microrheology and nonlinear flow behaviour of dilute aqueous solutions of a surfactant CTAT (Cetyltrimethylammonium Tosilate). This system forms elongated micelles and exhibits strong viscoelasticity at low concentrations (∼0.9 wt%) without the addition of electrolytes. Microrheology measurements of G(θ) have been done using diffusing wave spectroscopy which will be compared with the conventional frequency sweep measurements done using a cone and plate rheometer. The second part of the paper deals with the nonlinear rheology where the measured shear stress σ is a nonmonotonic function of the shear rate $$\dot \gamma $$. In stress-controlled experiments, the shear stress shows a plateau for $$\dot \gamma $$ larger than some critical strain rate, similar to the earlier reports on CPyCl/NaSal system. Cates et al have proposed that the plateau is a signature of mechanical instability in the form of shear bands. We have carried out extensive experiments under controlled strain rate conditions, to study the time-dependence of shear stress. The measured time series of shear stress has been analysed in terms of correlation integral and Lyapunov exponent to show unambiguously that the behaviour is typical of low dimensional dynamical systems.

    • Nonequilibrium noise and instabilities in membranes with active pumps

      Sriram Ramaswamy John Toner Jacques Prost

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      We study the statistical properties and dynamics of flexible fluid membranes containing active transmembrane proteins and find that such active membranes can be either stable or unstable to small disturbances, depending on the signs of certain crucial parameters characterising the protein-membrane interaction. A major finding is that the shape-fluctuation spectrum in the stable case for a zero-tension active membrane has the same form over a large range of length scales as at equilibrium, but with a nonequilibrium “noise temperature” determined by the activity.

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