Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 2, 2009
Previous Article Next Article

Nematic colloids entangled by topological defects

Author affiliations

Abstract

Assembly of colloidal particles in nematic liquid crystals is governed by the symmetry of building blocks and type of defects in the liquid crystalline orientation. Particles in a nematic act as nucleation sites for topological defect structures that are homotopic to point defects. The tendency for a minimal deformation free energy and topological constraints limit possible defect configurations to extended and localized defect loops. Here we report on a recently discovered colloidal binding, where particles are entangled by disclination loops. Nematic braids formed by such disclinations stabilize multi-particle objects and entrap particles in a complex manner. Observed binding potentials are highly anisotropic showing string-like behavior and can be of an order of magnitude stronger compared to non-entangled colloids. Controlling the assembly based on entangled disclination lines one can build multi-particle structures with potentially useful features (shapes, periodic structure, chirality, etc.) for photonic and plasmonic applications.

Graphical abstract: Nematic colloids entangled by topological defects

Back to tab navigation

Article information


Submitted
27 Jun 2008
Accepted
10 Sep 2008
First published
05 Nov 2008

Soft Matter, 2009,5, 269-274
Article type
Highlight

Nematic colloids entangled by topological defects

M. Ravnik and Slobodan Žumer, Soft Matter, 2009, 5, 269
DOI: 10.1039/B810933H

Social activity

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements