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Title: Chiral symmetry breaking in crystals of achiral polymers
Authors: Hatwalne, Yashodhan
Muthukumar, M.
Issue Date: 31-Aug-2010
Publisher: American Physical Society
Citation: Physical Review Letters, 2010, Vol.105, p107801
Abstract: Many achiral polymers crystallize into spherulites with gigantic chirality, as is evident from spectacular images of periodic banding observed in a polarized optical microscope, arising from the twisting of the lamellae making up the spherulites. We present a new mechanism of the spontaneous chiral symmetry breaking, by accounting for topological defects in finite crystalline ribbons made of achiral molecules in equilibrium. We show that disclinations stabilize a twisted helicoidal ribbon, with spontaneous selection of its width and chiral period, which are proportional to each other, as a universal law.
Description: Open Access
ISSN: 1079-7114-(online)
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Copyright: 2010 The American Physical Society
Appears in Collections:Research Papers (SCM)

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