Publication Title

Physical Review Letters

Publication Date

1-24-2011

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.047801

Keywords

colloidal particles, liquid-crystal, microspheres, fluids, field

Disciplines

Physics

Abstract

We design a nematic collider for controlled out-of-equilibrium anisotropic aggregation of spherical colloidal particles. The nematic surrounding imparts dipolar interactions among the spheres. A bidirectional backflow of the nematic liquid crystal in a periodic electric field forces the spheres to collide with each other. The inelastic collisions are of two types, head to tail and head to head. Head-to-tail collisions of dipoles result in longitudinal aggregation while head-to-head collisions promote aggregation in the transversal direction. The frequency of head-to-head collisions is set by the impact parameter that controls the resulting shape of aggregates, their anisotropy, and fractal dimension.

Comments

Copyright 2011 American Physical Society. Available on publisher's site at http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.047801.


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