477948 Self-Assembly of Colloids in Ordered Carrier Fluids

Monday, November 14, 2016: 5:30 PM
Yosemite B (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Martin Schoen, Stranski-Laboratorium für Physikalische und Theoretische Chemie, Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany

The talk focuses on the complex interplay of molecular scale effects, nonlinearity of the orientational field, and long-range elastic forces which make the liquid-crystal physics very challenging. A consistent way to extract information from the microscopic, molecular scale up to the meso- and macroscopic scale is still missing. Here, we develop a hybrid procedure that bridges this gap by combining extensive Monte Carlo simulations, a local Landau-de Gennes theory, classical density functional theory, and finite-size scaling theory. As a test case to demonstrate the power and validity of our novel approach we study the effective interaction among colloids with Boojum defect topology immersed in a nematic liquid crystal. In particular, at sufficiently small separations colloids attract each other if the angle between their center-of-mass distance vector and the far-field nematic director is about 30. Using the effective potential in coarse-grained two-dimensional MC simulations we show that self-assembled structures formed by the colloids are in excellent agreement with experimental data.

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