Jump to main content
Jump to site search
Access to RSC content Close the message box

Continue to access RSC content when you are not at your institution. Follow our step-by-step guide.

Issue 5, 2012
Previous Article Next Article

Shape-tuning the colloidal assemblies in nematic liquid crystals

Author affiliations


Colloidal platelets are natural building blocks for the shape-controlled assembly of two-dimensional periodic lattices and can form versatile optical elements. Using three-dimensional (3D) numerical modelling, we demonstrate the self-assembly of triangular, square and pentagonal sub-micrometer sized platelets in a thin layer of nematic liquid crystal. Torques acting on individual platelets are calculated, showing that platelets with quadrupolar symmetry (squares, hexagons, etc) are, orientationally, more strongly bound than platelets with dipolar symmetry (triangles, pentagons) which is important for switching applications. Inter-platelet potentials are shown to depend in a complex way on the orientations of the platelets, exhibiting easy and hard reorientation axes and multiple minima. Linear chains of elastic dipoles form into two-dimensional periodic lattices via interesting rotational and translational shifts, to minimize the distortions in the surrounding nematic medium.

Graphical abstract: Shape-tuning the colloidal assemblies in nematic liquid crystals

Back to tab navigation

Article information

18 Aug 2011
23 Nov 2011
First published
20 Dec 2011

Soft Matter, 2012,8, 1657-1663
Article type

Shape-tuning the colloidal assemblies in nematic liquid crystals

J. Dontabhaktuni, M. Ravnik and S. Žumer, Soft Matter, 2012, 8, 1657
DOI: 10.1039/C2SM06577K

Social activity

Search articles by author