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Network formation in colloid-liquid crystal mixtures studied by confocal microscopy

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S1901-S1909
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physics: Condensed Matter
Volume16
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - 19 May 2004

Abstract

We studied the formation of particle networks in colloid + liquid crystal mixtures cooled below the isotropic-nematic transition temperature by time-resolved laser scanning confocal microscopy. Our observations confirm a recent suggestion that alkane impurities play a crucial role in slowing down the speed of the isotropic-nematic interface. This enables the growing nematic droplets to 'push' particles into increasingly concentrated regions, ultimately resulting in a cellular network solid. We also found that faster cooling rates resulted in increasingly hierarchical cellular structures.

    Research areas

  • TRANSITION, BEHAVIOR, LATTICES, MEDIA

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