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Issue 7, 2010
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Electroconvection in nematic liquid crystals viananoparticle doping

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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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Article information

19 Feb 2010
09 Mar 2010
First published
04 May 2010

Nanoscale, 2010,2, 1118-1121
Article type

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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