Europhys. Lett.
Volume 70, Number 5, June 2005
Page(s) 621 - 627
Section Condensed matter: structural, mechanical and thermal properties
Published online 04 May 2005
Europhys. Lett., 70 (5), pp. 621-627 (2005)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2005-10034-2

Colloidal crystal formation via polymer-liquid-crystal demixing

S. K. Das and A. D. Rey

Department of Chemical Engineering, McGill University 3610 University St., Montreal, QC H3A 2B2, Canada

received 24 January 2005; accepted in final form 18 April 2005
published online 4 May 2005

Simulations of the formation and structure of colloidal crystal ordering that emerge from phase-separation-phase-ordering-texture processes driven by thermal quenches of an isotropic phase of polymer-rigid-rod mesogens are presented and characterized using spinodal-decomposition measures and liquid-crystal defect physics. The positional order in the crystalline emulsion emerges from orientation-driven spinodal decomposition, and the polymer droplet lattice is pinned by a random network of disclination lines embedded in the nematic-liquid-crystalline matrix. The nematic texture is controlled by the coupling between diffusion and nematic ordering.

61.46.+w - Nanoscale materials: clusters, nanoparticles, nanotubes, and nanocrystals.
77.84.Nh - Liquids, emulsions, and suspensions; liquid crystals.
81.30.-t - Phase diagrams and microstructures developed by solidification and solid-solid phase transformations.

© EDP Sciences 2005