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Issue 2, 2016
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Influence of interface stabilisers and surrounding aqueous phases on nematic liquid crystal shells

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Abstract

We investigate the nematic–isotropic (N–I) transition in shells of the liquid crystal 5CB, surrounded by aqueous phases that conventionally are considered to be immiscible with 5CB. The aqueous phases contain either sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) or polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) as stabiliser, the former additionally promoting homeotropic director alignment. For all shell configurations we find a depression of the clearing point compared to pure 5CB, indicating that a non-negligible fraction of the constituents of the surrounding phases enter the shell, predominantly water. In hybrid-aligned shells, with planar outer and homeotropic inner boundary (or vice versa), the N–I transition splits into two steps, with a consequent three-step textural transformation. We explain this as a result of the order-enhancing effect of a monolayer of radially aligned SDS molecules adsorbed at the homeotropic interface.

Graphical abstract: Influence of interface stabilisers and surrounding aqueous phases on nematic liquid crystal shells

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Publication details

The article was received on 04 Aug 2015, accepted on 26 Oct 2015 and first published on 26 Oct 2015


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C5SM01944C
Author version available: Download Author version (PDF)
Citation: Soft Matter, 2016,12, 367-372
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    Influence of interface stabilisers and surrounding aqueous phases on nematic liquid crystal shells

    J. Noh, K. Reguengo De Sousa and J. P. F. Lagerwall, Soft Matter, 2016, 12, 367
    DOI: 10.1039/C5SM01944C

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