Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Physics, Applied

First Advisor

Mohamed A. Gharbi

Second Advisor

Stephen Arnason

Third Advisor

Jonathan Celli


The ability to engineer topological defects in liquid crystals has been a growing area of study in recent years. These systems have the ability to direct the assembly of defects and entrap colloidal particles at those points. They have been proven effective in creating soft microlens arrays, optically selective photomasks, and super-hydrophobic surfaces. In this study, we research the impact of surface geometry on the formation of defects in smectic A liquid crystals under hybrid boundary conditions. We show the ability to arrange their focal conic domains (FCDs) through the use of an undulated structure. By confining one of the substrates, defects arise at precise locations in order to comply with boundary conditions. We show how disclination defects in the nematic phase can be frozen when cooled to the smectic A and how FCDs organize around the defect lines. We present a periodic assembly of reversible defects and the relationship between the design of the interface and defect size and eccentricity. These findings could have great interest in the fields of optics and energy technologies, in particular tunable, functional nanomaterials.


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