Nonsphere Drop Impact Assembly of Graphene Oxide Liquid Crystals

Creating long-lived topological textured liquid crystals (LCs) in confined nonspherical space is of significance in both generations of structures and fundamental studies of topological physics. However, it remains a great challenge due to the fluid character of LCs and the unstable tensional state of transient nonspheres. Here, we realize a rich series of topological textures confined in nonspherical geometries by drop impact assembly (DIA) of graphene oxide (GO) aqueous LCs. Various highly curved nonspherical morphologies of LCs were captured by gelator bath, generating distinct out-of-equilibrium yet long-lived macroscopic topological textures in 3D confinement. Our hydrodynamic investigations on DIA processes reveal that the shear-thinning fluid behavior of LCs and the arrested GO alignments mainly contribute to the topological richness in DIA. Utilizing the shaping behavior of GO LCs compared to other conventional linear polymers such as alginate, we further extend the DIA methodology to design more complex yet highly controllable functional composites and hybrids. This work thus reveals the potential to scale production of uniform yet anisotropic materials with rich topologic textures and tailored composition.