We present an experimental and theoretical investigation of a variant of electroconvection using an unusual nematic liquid crystal in an isotropic configuration (homeotropic alignment). The significance of the system is a direct transition to the convecting state due to the negative conductivity anisotropy and positive dielectric anisotropy. We observe at onset rolls or squares depending on the frequency and amplitude of the applied ac voltage with a strong signature of the zigzag instability. Good agreement with calculations based on the underlying hydrodynamic theory is found. We also construct an extended Swift-Hohenberg model which allows us to capture complex patterns like squares with a quasiperiodic modulation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Mathematical Physics
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Applied Mathematics