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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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Article information


Submitted
25 Aug 2010
Accepted
01 Nov 2010
First published
10 Dec 2010

Soft Matter, 2011,7, 1467-1471
Article type
Paper

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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