Physical Review Letters ( IF 8.385 ) Pub Date : 2020-11-20 , DOI: 10.1103/physrevlett.125.218004
Kristian Thijssen; Mehrana R. Nejad; Julia M. Yeomans

We use continuum simulations to study the impact of friction on the ordering of defects in an active nematic. Even in a frictionless system, $+1/2$ defects tend to align side by side and orient antiparallel reflecting their propensity to form, and circulate with, flow vortices. Increasing friction enhances the effectiveness of the defect-defect interactions, and defects form dynamically evolving, large-scale, positionally, and orientationally ordered structures, which can be explained as a competition between hexagonal packing, preferred by the $-1/2$ defects, and rectangular packing, preferred by the $+1/2$ defects.

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