Volume 70, Number 1, April 2005
|Page(s)||95 - 101|
|Section||Condensed matter: structural, mechanical and thermal properties|
|Published online||09 March 2005|
Effective pair interactions between colloidal particles at a nematic-isotropic interface
Max-Planck-Institut für Polymerforschung - Ackermannweg 10 55128 Mainz, Germany
2 Max-Planck-Institut für Metallforschung - Heisenbergstr. 3 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
3 Institut für Theoretische und Angewandte Physik, Universität Stuttgart Pfaffenwalding 57, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
Accepted: 31 January 2005
The Landau-de Gennes free energy is used to study theoretically the interaction of parallel cylindrical colloidal particles trapped at a nematic-isotropic interface. We find that the effective interaction potential is non-monotonic. The corresponding force-distance curves exhibit jumps and hysteresis upon approach/separation due to the creation/annihilation of topological defects. Minimization results suggest a simple empirical pair potential for the effective colloid-colloid interaction at the interface. We propose that the interface-mediated interaction can play an important role in self-organization and clustering of colloidal particles at such interfaces.
PACS: 61.30.Dk – Continuum models and theories of liquid crystal structure / 82.70.Dd – Colloids / 61.30.Jf – Defects in liquid crystals
© EDP Sciences, 2005
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