This paper explores how pairs of spherical particles with homeotropic (normal) surface anchoring cluster when immersed in nematic liquid crystal. By means of the Landau-de Gennes continuum theory we calculate how the equilibrium separation of a particle pair depends on the anchoring energy at the particle surface and the elastic anisotropy of the liquid crystal. We find that, for modest to strong anchoring strengths, the particle separation depends linearly on the elastic anisotropy and the inverse of the anchoring strength. Thus, the anchoring strength can be estimated by measuring the particle-pair separation.
|Journal||Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 8 2013|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability
- Condensed Matter Physics