Angular deficits in flat space: remotely controllable apertures in nematic solid sheets

C.D. Modes, M. Warner, C. Sanchez-Somolinos, L.T. Haan, de, D.J. Broer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Recent attention has been given to the realization of angular deficits and surpluses in the local ground-state geometry of thin sheets of nematic solids as out-of-plane deformations. Such systems exhibit conical or anti-conical curvature sites, or possibly arrays of such polyhedral corners, in order to satisfy the material's spontaneous strain-generated metric requirements. Here, we turn the angular deficit requirement on its head, and show theoretically and experimentally that by appropriately altering the topology of the initially flat sheet-for example, by cutting it in carefully chosen regions-the same angular deficits and surpluses may manifest simply in-plane by changing the geometry of the cut region. Such amechanism offers a route to apertures or arrays of apertures that may be reversibly opened and closed by applying spontaneous strain with heat, light or chemical potential.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2153
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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