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This proposal aims at an international collaborative effort between the Department of Nonlinear Phenomena of Otto-von-Guericke University of Magdeburg, Germany and the Liquid Crystal Institute and the Department of Physics of Kent State University. We plan a multi-faceted, comprehensive project to study new types of fluid fibers with highly specialized functionalization. The significance for materials science and the technological importance of soft matter fibers cannot be overstated. The preconditions that allow drawing fluids into long, thin, strong, flexible filaments with desired properties are only partially understood. Recent results using mesogenic fluids with novel molecular structures, symmetry properties and physical characteristics have enabled an entirely new class of filament structures that not only can be drawn to long, thin fibers, they can also be cross-linked to anisotropic and polar elastomer threads, which retain their shape after drawing. So far, the fundamental science of what stabilizes a mesogenic fluid pulled into a fiber is not fully understood. Such an understanding will be the precondition for material optimization and the search for new mesophases that produce stable fibers.


Complex fluids, fluid fibres, liquid crystals

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