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Issue 8, 2012
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Three-dimensional complex-shaped photopolymerized microparticles at liquid crystal interfaces

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Abstract

Microparticles of arbitrary shapes immersed in the bulk of nematic fluids are known to produce dipolar or quadrupolar elastic distortions that can mediate long-range colloidal interactions. We use two-photon photopolymerization to obtain complex-shaped surface-bound microparticles that are then embedded into a nematic liquid crystal host with a uniform far-field director. By means of three-dimensional imaging with multi-photon excitation fluorescence polarizing microscopy, we demonstrate low-symmetry, long-range elastic distortions induced by the particles in the liquid crystal director field. These director distortions may provide a means for controlling elastic interactions in liquid crystals between custom-designed photopolymerized microparticles attached to confining solid substrates and nematic fluid-borne colloids, thus enabling elasticity-mediated templated self-assembly.

Graphical abstract: Three-dimensional complex-shaped photopolymerized microparticles at liquid crystal interfaces

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 Nov 2011, accepted on 07 Dec 2011 and first published on 11 Jan 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2SM07125H
Citation: Soft Matter, 2012,8, 2432-2437
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    Three-dimensional complex-shaped photopolymerized microparticles at liquid crystal interfaces

    A. Martinez, T. Lee, T. Asavei, H. Rubinsztein-Dunlop and I. I. Smalyukh, Soft Matter, 2012, 8, 2432
    DOI: 10.1039/C2SM07125H

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