Title: Dewetting and dielectrowetting in thin films of nematic liquid crystals
Abstract: Thin films of nematic liquid crystal (NLC) find widespread industrial use, in applications ranging from liquid crystal display devices to liquid lenses and optical shutters. Understanding how such films spread and flow is therefore important from an industrial perspective as well as being of fundamental scientific interest. We will describe how asymptotic methods (lubrication theory) can be applied to derive a simplified model for the free surface evolution of NLC films in a number of different settings. Of particular importance for film behavior is the orientation of the NLC molecules, both within the bulk film and at interfaces. The former is dictated by elastic effects and by the presence of applied externalfields such as an electric field; while the latter depends primarily on interactions of the NLC with the adjacent material (a phenomenon known as anchoring). We will present simulations of our model that illustrate film behavior both without (dewetting) and with (dielectrowetting) an applied electric field, showing good qualitative agreement with available experimental data.
Bio: Professor Cummings obtained both her Bachelor’s and Doctoral degrees from the University of Oxford. She held postdoctoral positions at the Technion and the Ecole Normale Superieure (Paris), before taking up EPSRC and Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships at the University of Nottingham. She joined the faculty of the University of Nottingham in 2005, and took up her current position at New Jersey Institute of Technology in 2008. She is currently the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies in the Department of Mathematical Sciences, and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies within the College of Science and Liberal Arts. Her research interests are broad, and encompass many areas of industrial mathematics, including Liquid Crystal Display design, and filtration modeling. She is a key organizer of the Mathematical Problems in Industry workshops that are held annually in the North-East United States.
This talk will be offered in a hybrid format. If you wish to participate remotely, please send an email to [email protected].