Spatially modulated structures in nematic colloids: Statistical thermodynamics and kinetics
Physics Faculty, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, 64, Vladymirska St., 01601, Kyiv, Ukraine
2 G. V. Kurdyumov Institute for Metal Physics, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, 36, Acad. Vernadsky Blvd., 03680, Kyiv, Ukraine
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Accepted: 26 January 2011
Published online: 28 March 2011
We examine the spatial distribution of rigid-sphere-like particles in a nematic host. Using a continuum model we analyse the conditions necessary for the appearance of a modulated lamellar structure. There is a long-range effective interaction between the particles, which can lead to the formation of superstructures. In general, this interaction includes several contributions: van der Waals-type direct interaction and indirect interaction via the director field distortions. The latter depends on the temperature of the sample, the coupling energy between a colloidal particle and a nematic host, and the particle concentration. This effective interaction controls the spatial structure and the kinetic properties of the system. We obtained the analytical expression for the temperature when the system loses the stability with respect to the modulated structure formation. Typical contours of the diffuse light scattering are presented.
© EDP Sciences, SIF, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2011