University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series > Self-assembly of liquid crystal mixtures: cubic fluid cylinders, elastic emulsions and colloid-active gels composites

Self-assembly of liquid crystal mixtures: cubic fluid cylinders, elastic emulsions and colloid-active gels composites

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DNMW03 - Optimal design of soft matter - including a celebration of Women in Materials Science (WMS)

In this talk we will show results from lattice Boltzmann simulations probing the behaviour of soft matter mixtures based on a liquid crystalline host (which can be either passive or active).   In the first part of the talk we will investigate the behaviour of a phase-separating mixture of a blue phase I liquid crystal with an isotropic fluid. The resulting morphology is primarily controlled by an inverse capillary number, setting the balance between interfacial and elastic forces. When this dimensionless number and the concentration of the isotropic component are both low, the blue phase disclination lattice templates a novel cubic array of fluid cylinders. In different regions of parameter space, we find elastic emulsions which coarsen very slowly, rewiring the blue phase disclination lines as they do so.   In the second part of the talk, we will study the dynamics of a dispersion of passive colloidal particles in an active nematic host. We find that activity induces a dynamic clustering of colloids even in the absence of any preferential anchoring of the active nematic director at the particle surface. When such an anchoring is present, active stresses instead compete with elastic forces and re-disperse the aggregates observed in passive colloid-liquid crystal composites.

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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