A particle in a liquid crystal is like an electron or proton in space. Each creates a "field", modifying the space both nearby and far away. In the liquid crystal, the field is the changing molecular orientation and in space an electric field. If respectively another particle or electron comes along it notices the first as a result of the field, which in the case of electron and protons determines whether they are pulled together or pushed apart. Center researchers have extended this whole notion to structurally complex particles, here one made up of five rings, creating exotic fields and revealing the role of structure and topology in particle assemblies, the liquid crystal analogs of atoms.

Group: Smalyukh
(January 2014)

particles in LC
Small particles suspended in nematic liquid crystal can be assembled in a variety of different configurations.


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