Our study of cholesteric lyotropic chromonic liquid crystals in cylindrical confinement reveals the topological aspects of cholesteric liquid crystals. The double-twist configurations we observe exhibit discontinuous layering transitions, domain formation, metastability, and chiral point defects as the concentration of chiral dopant is varied. We demonstrate that these distinct layer states can be distinguished by chiral topological invariants. We show that changes in the layer structure give rise to a chiral soliton similar to a toron, comprising a metastable pair of chiral point defects. Through the applicability of the invariants we describe to general systems, our work has broad relevance to the study of chiral materials.
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - 17 Aug 2021|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the National Research Foundation of Korea through Grants NRF-2018R1C1B6002811 and NRF-2020R1A4A1019140. S.-J.K. acknowledges financial support by IBS-R020-D1. We also thank Jin Tae Park and Prof. Hyuk Kyu Pak for help with the focused IR laser experiments.
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