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Issue 5, 2010
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Flow induced deformation of defects around nanoparticles and nanodroplets suspended in liquid crystals

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Abstract

A three-dimensional molecular theory is used to describe the effect of flow on the defects that arise around nanoparticles and nanodroplets suspended in a nematic liquid crystal. It is observed that flow displaces the Saturn ring line defect that forms around a nanoparticle at equilibrium in the upstream direction; it is eventually closed by the flow and becomes a Hedgehog point defect. In contrast, the Saturn ring that forms around a nanodroplet is slightly displaced in the downstream direction. Experimental measurements of defects around nanoparticles have not been reported in the literature. In the absence of experiments, the validity of theoretical predictions is assessed through a direct comparison to results of many-body molecular dynamics simulations of a coarse grain liquid crystal model. Theoretical predictions and molecular simulations are in quantitative agreement, thereby lending credibility to the predictions presented in this work and suggesting that flow can be used to manipulate defect structure and aggregation of nanoparticles in nematic liquid crystals.

Graphical abstract: Flow induced deformation of defects around nanoparticles and nanodroplets suspended in liquid crystals

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Publication details

The article was received on 25 Jun 2009, accepted on 13 Nov 2009 and first published on 04 Jan 2010


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B912551E
Citation: Soft Matter, 2010,6, 896-901
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    Flow induced deformation of defects around nanoparticles and nanodroplets suspended in liquid crystals

    B. T. Gettelfinger, J. A. Moreno-Razo, G. M. Koenig Jr, J. P. Hernández-Ortiz, N. L. Abbott and J. J. de Pablo, Soft Matter, 2010, 6, 896
    DOI: 10.1039/B912551E

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