### Abstract

We have experimentally and theoretically studied the interparticle force between two colloidal particles with different sizes accompanied by hyperbolic hedgehog defects in a nematic liquid crystal. The force f was directly measured using dual-beam optical tweezers and calculated theoretically from the equilibrium tensor field around the particles. The dependence of f on the center-to-center distance between particles of different sizes R is different from that for particles with the same size. The magnitude of f depends on the relative arrangement of the particles: f is larger when a defect between the particles belongs to the larger particle. From the theoretical calculation, the difference in f between the two arrangements, δf, monotonically increases with increasing size difference. The difference δf was experimentally and theoretically found to be proportional to R-4.6 at large R. The obtained exponent is comparable to the exponent of -5 predicted by electrostatic analogy.

Original language | English |
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Article number | 010701 |

Journal | Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics |

Volume | 81 |

Issue number | 1 |

DOIs | |

Publication status | Published - Jan 7 2010 |

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### All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability
- Condensed Matter Physics

### Cite this

*Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics*,

*81*(1), [010701]. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.81.010701