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Issue 34, 2015
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Liquid crystal Janus emulsion droplets: preparation, tumbling, and swimming

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Abstract

This study introduces liquid crystal (LC) Janus droplets. We describe a process for the preparation of these droplets, which consist of nematic LC and polymer compartments. The process employs solvent-induced phase separation in emulsion droplets generated by microfluidics. The droplet morphology was systematically investigated and demonstrated to be sensitive to the surfactant concentration in the background phase, the compartment volume ratio, and the possible coalescence of multiple Janus droplets. Interestingly, the combination of a polymer and an anisotropic LC introduces new functionalities into Janus droplets, and these properties lead to unusual dynamical behaviors. The different densities and solubilities of the two compartments produce gravity-induced alignment, tumbling, and directional self-propelled motion of Janus droplets. LC Janus droplets with remarkable optical properties and dynamical behaviors thus offer new avenues for applications of Janus colloids and active soft matter.

Graphical abstract: Liquid crystal Janus emulsion droplets: preparation, tumbling, and swimming

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Publication details

The article was received on 03 May 2015, accepted on 30 Jun 2015 and first published on 30 Jun 2015


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5SM01053E
Citation: Soft Matter, 2015,11, 6747-6754
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    Liquid crystal Janus emulsion droplets: preparation, tumbling, and swimming

    J. Jeong, A. Gross, W. Wei, F. Tu, D. Lee, P. J. Collings and A. G. Yodh, Soft Matter, 2015, 11, 6747
    DOI: 10.1039/C5SM01053E

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