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Liquid crystal colloids: functionalization of inclusions and continuum
M. Ravnik1,2, I. Musevic3,2, J. Yeomans1, S. Zumer2,3
1 Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics, Universtiy of Oxford, United Kingdom
2 Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
3 Jozef Stefan Institute, Slovenia

Liquid crystal colloids combine orientational anisotropy of liquid crystalline continuum phase and discrete ordering of dispersed colloidal inclusions [1,2]. The long-ranged orientational ordering of liquid crystals generates structural forces between the inclusions which allows for assembly of colloidal composites to be used as advanced optical elements. Fully, the applicability and means for optimisation of optical structures in liquid crystal colloids is revealed by the variety of possibilities for functionalizing the materials - both inclusions and the continuum phase.
Here, we present routes for functionalization of colloidal particles and continuum liquid crystal. For particles, the role of shape, surface structure, and Janus [3] and higher Janus surface anchoring profile is shown. For bulk medium, the role of chirality and material activity is demonstrated. Novel 3D flow profiles are shown in active liquid crystal cells. Combining confinement of colloidal particles and active material flow microfluidic elements could be assembled.

[1] P. Poulin, H. Stark, T. C. Lubensky, D. A. Weitz, Science 275, 1770 (1997).
[2] H. Stark, Phys. Rep. 351, 387 (2001).
[3] M. Conradi, M. Ravnik, M. Bele, M. Zorko, S. Zumer, I. Musevic, Soft Matter 5, 3905 (2009).

"Jožef Stefan" Institute

University of Ljubljana
Faculty of Mathematics
and Physics

Center of Excellence