Cascade of structures in the thermoconvection of a nematic in the director-dominated regime
Laboratoire de Physique des Solides, Université Paris-Sud - 91405 Orsay cedex, France
Accepted: 7 April 1997
We report on the first experimental study of the nonlinear evolution of thermoconvection in a planar nematic liquid crystal, in extended geometry and at zero or weak stabilizing magnetic field. As the control parameter is adiabatically increased, we show that the system undergoes a series of bifurcations between stationary convective structures. We stress that this scenario is generic in the convection of a nematic in a regime where the director nonlinear couplings dominate, independently of the basic convective mechanism.
PACS: 47.20.Ky – Nonlinearity (including bifurcation theory) / 47.20.Bp – Buoyancy-driven instability / 61.30.-v – Liquid crystals
© EDP Sciences, 1997