Travelling waves in electroconvection of the nematic phase 5: A test of the weak electrolyte model

Martin Treiber, Nândor Eber, Agnes Buka, Lorenz Kramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated travelling waves appearing as the primary pattern-forming instability in the nematic Phase 5 (Merck) in the planar geometry in order to test the recently developed weak electrolyte model of ac-driven electroconvection [1]. Travelling waves are observed over the full conductive range of applied frequencies for three cells of different layer thickness d. We also measured the elastic constants, the electric conductivity, and the dielectric constant. The other parameters of Phase 5 are known, apart from the (relatively unimportant) viscosity ai and the two parameters of the weak electrolyte model that are proportional to the geometric mean of the mobilities, and the recombination rate, respectively. Assuming a sufficiently small recombination rate, the predicted dependence of the frequency of the travelling waves at onset (Hopf frequency) on d and on the applied frequency agreed quantitatively with the experiments, essentially without fit parameters. The absolute value of the Hopf frequency implies that the geometric mean of the mobilities amounts to 1.1 X 10~10 m2/(Vs).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-661
Number of pages13
JournalJournal de Physique I
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Engineering(all)

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