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Issue 4, 2011
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Behavior of colloidal particles at a nematic liquid crystal interface

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Abstract

We examine the behavior of spherical silica particles trapped at an air–nematic liquid crystal interface. When a strong normal anchoring is imposed, the beads spontaneously form various structures depending on their area density and the nematic thickness. Using optical tweezers, we determine the pair potential and explain the formation of these patterns. The energy profile is discussed in terms of capillary and elastic interactions. Finally, we detail the mechanisms that control the formation of a hexagonal lattice and analyze the role of gravity for curved interfaces.

Graphical abstract: Behavior of colloidal particles at a nematic liquid crystal interface†

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Publication details

The article was received on 25 Aug 2010, accepted on 01 Nov 2010 and first published on 10 Dec 2010


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0SM00863J
Citation: Soft Matter, 2011,7, 1467-1471
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    Behavior of colloidal particles at a nematic liquid crystal interface

    M. A. Gharbi, M. Nobili, M. In, G. Prévot, P. Galatola, J. Fournier and C. Blanc, Soft Matter, 2011, 7, 1467
    DOI: 10.1039/C0SM00863J

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