Liquid crystals (LCs) are distinctive materials that are applicable to a wide range of disciplines, such as continuum mechanics, optics of anisotropic media, statistical physics, and crystallography. The diverse structures and eye-catching topological defects of LCs in confined geometries are affected by nematic elasticity, chirality, and surface anchoring. Herein, we report the formation and detailed configuration of cholesteric LC (CLC) microdroplets with different pitches pierced by electrospun poly(methyl methacrylate) microfibers. Two kinds of surface anchoring, namely, homeotropic anchoring at the air–CLC droplet interface and planar anchoring at the fiber–CLC droplet interface, coexist in this system. By controlling temperature and light irradiation, the system exhibits thermal- and photo-dependent LC morphological and topological evolutions. The observed structures are complemented by numerical simulations of possible director fields decorated by defects. The externally controllable CLC necklaces constitute extraordinary systems for exploring the morphology and topological defects and open a route for applications in topological remote control, nanoscience, biomedical research, and the development of devices based on topologically structured soft media.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Materials Chemistry