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Quasi-two-dimensional Skyrmion Lattices in a Chiral Nematic Liquid Crystal

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Quasi-two-dimensional Skyrmion Lattices in a Chiral Nematic Liquid Crystal

Jun-ichi Fukuda et al. Nat Commun.

Abstract

Skyrmions are particle-like topological entities in a continuous field that have an important role in various condensed matter systems, including two-dimensional electron gases exhibiting the quantum Hall effect, chiral ferromagnets and Bose-Einstein condensates. Here we show theoretically, with the aid of numerical methods, that a highly chiral nematic liquid crystal can accommodate a quasi-two-dimensional Skyrmion lattice as a thermodynamically stable state, when it is confined to a thin film between two parallel surfaces imposing normal alignment. A chiral nematic liquid crystal film can thus serve as a model Skyrmion system, allowing direct investigation of their structural properties by a variety of optical techniques at room temperatures that are less demanding than Skyrmion systems discussed previously.

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