Assemblies of phoretic colloids driven through liquid crystals show the fundamental role of hydrodynamics and display emergent conformal order.
News from Sep 30, 2019
We present a theoretical framework to understand the collective dynamics of an ensemble of electrophoretically driven colloidal particles that are forced to assemble around a single topological defect in a nematic liquid crystal by an alternating current electric field. Our generic model combines phoretic propulsion with electrostatic interactions and liquid-crystal-mediated hydrodynamics, which are effectively cast into a long-range interparticle repulsion. Simulations based on this model fully capture the collective organization process observed in the experiments and the emergence of conformal ordering.
Collective dynamics and conformal ordering in electrophoretically driven nematic colloids, A. V. Straube, J. M. Pagès, P. Tierno, J. Ignés-Mullol, and F. Sagués, Phys. Rev. Research 1, 022008(R) (2019)