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A Self-Quenched Defect Glass in a Colloid-Nematic Liquid Crystal Composite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-83
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume334
Issue number6052
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2011

Abstract

Colloidal particles immersed in liquid crystals frustrate orientational order. This generates defect lines known as disclinations. At the core of these defects, the orientational order drops sharply. We have discovered a class of soft solids, with shear moduli up to 10(4) pascals, containing high concentrations of colloidal particles (volume fraction phi greater than or similar to 20%) directly dispersed into a nematic liquid crystal. Confocal microscopy and computer simulations show that the mechanical strength derives from a percolated network of defect lines entangled with the particles in three dimensions. Such a "self-quenched glass" of defect lines and particles can be considered a self-organized analog of the "vortex glass" state in type II superconductors.

    Research areas

  • GELS, PARTICLES

ID: 1274153