Publication Title

Physical Review Letters

Publication Date

2-2-2007

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1103/PhysRevLett.98.057801

Keywords

topological defects, particles, forces, phase

Disciplines

Physics

Abstract

Glycerol droplets at a nematic-liquid-crystal–air interface form two different lattices—hexagonal and dense quasihexagonal—which are separated by the energy barrier and can coexist. Director distortions around each droplet form an elastic dipole. The first order transition between the two lattices is driven by a reduction of the dipole-dipole repulsion through reorientation of these dipoles. The elastic-capillary attraction is essential for the both lattices. The effect has a many-body origin.

Comments

Copyright 2007 American Physical Society. Available on publisher's site at http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.98.057801.


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