Heterogeneous colloidal particles immersed in a liquid crystal

S Changizrezaei and C Denniston, PHYSICAL REVIEW E, 95, 052703 (2017).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.95.052703

In this paper, we explore anisotropic interactions between particles with heterogeneous boundary conditions inside both nematic and cholesteric liquid crystals. The results show that when particles are put at different distances and angles with respect to each other, new types of defect structures are produced, depending on the relative distances and directions. In a cholesteric liquid crystal, the value of the pitch affects the defect structures and induced forces. Moreover, it was observed that it is energetically favorable for the particles to remain in a plane parallel to the far-field director in a nematic liquid crystal, while for particles immersed in a cholesteric there are multiple energy minima not all located in the same plane.

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