Orientational order and translational dynamics of magnetic particle assemblies in liquid crystals†
Implementing extensive molecular dynamics simulations we explore the organization of magnetic particle assemblies (clusters) in a uniaxial liquid crystalline matrix comprised of rodlike particles. The magnetic particles are modelled as soft dipolar spheres with diameter significantly smaller than the width of the rods. Depending on the dipolar strength coupling the magnetic particles arrange into head-to-tail configurations forming various types of clusters including rings (closed loops) and chains. In turn, the liquid crystalline matrix induces long range orientational ordering to these structures and promotes their diffusion along the director of the phase. Different translational dynamics are exhibited as the liquid crystalline matrix transforms either from isotropic to nematic or from nematic to smectic state. This is caused due to different collective motion of the magnetic particles into various clusters in the anisotropic environments. Our results offer a physical insight for understanding both the structure and dynamics of magnetic particle assemblies in liquid crystalline matrices.