Colloidal particles are assembled into different states of aggregation driven by liquid-crystal-enabled electrokinetic propulsion.
News from Jan 28, 2019
We assemble colloidal particles into reconfigurable circular clusters driven by liquid-crystal-enabled electrokinetic propulsion. We identify the coexistence of different aggregation states, including a central, jammed core surrounded by a liquid-like corona where particles retain their mobility but reach a mechanical equilibrium that we rationalize in terms of a balance between centripetal phoretic drive and pairwise repulsion. An analysis of the compressible liquid-like region reveals a linear density profile and a bond-orientational order. We compute the mechanical pressure and use a hard-disk equation of state to describe the assembly.
Inhomogeneous assembly of driven nematic colloids, J.M. Pagès, A.V. Straube, P. Tierno, J. Ignés-Mullol and F. Sagués, Soft Matter 15, 312 (2019) [Link]