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Issue 34, 2013
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Topology of nematic liquid crystal colloids confined to two dimensions

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Abstract

We present a brief overview of recent development in the field of nematic colloids with an emphasis on the topology of colloidal structures and recently discovered topologically nontrivial defect configurations. Nematic colloids are complex soft-matter systems, in which the topology of defects, induced by colloidal inclusions, can be controlled and varied locally by laser tweezers and other external fields. We discuss the role of elasticity driven colloidal interactions and demonstrate the importance of precise optical manipulation of topological defects for a targeted design of entangled structures. We conclude that the interplay between particle and defect topologies in liquid crystals provides an exciting journey to the burgeoning area of applied topology and opens several new directions in advanced engineering of soft materials.

Graphical abstract: Topology of nematic liquid crystal colloids confined to two dimensions

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Publication details

The article was received on 12 Mar 2013, accepted on 23 Apr 2013 and first published on 24 May 2013


Article type: Review Article
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM50713K
Citation: Soft Matter, 2013,9, 8140-8150
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    Topology of nematic liquid crystal colloids confined to two dimensions

    U. Tkalec and I. Muševič, Soft Matter, 2013, 9, 8140
    DOI: 10.1039/C3SM50713K

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