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Issue 7, 2010
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Electroconvection in nematic liquid crystals via nanoparticle doping

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Abstract

It is known that a small fraction of nanoparticles dispersed in a liquid crystal can alter the electrooptic response, completely. The present study on gold nanoparticles dispersed in 5-n-heptyl-2-(4-n-octyloxy-phenyl)-pyrimidine shows that the contrast inversion observed earlier is initiated by a change from parallel to homeotropic anchoring, thereby causing an instability, which in turn leads to the appearance of convection rolls. After rapid cooling from the isotropic phase, the nanoparticle dispersion shows a regular field-induced Fréedericksz transition, like the pure liquid crystal. The electrohydrodynamic instability is presumably an example for the behavior of (+, −) systems that was predicted by de Gennes, and only recently observed experimentally for the first time.

Graphical abstract: Electroconvection in nematic liquid crystals via nanoparticle doping

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Publication details

The article was received on 19 Feb 2010, accepted on 09 Mar 2010 and first published on 04 May 2010


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0NR00139B
Nanoscale, 2010,2, 1118-1121

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    Electroconvection in nematic liquid crystals via nanoparticle doping

    M. Urbanski, B. Kinkead, H. Qi, T. Hegmann and Heinz-S. Kitzerow, Nanoscale, 2010, 2, 1118
    DOI: 10.1039/C0NR00139B

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