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Materials 2018, 11(1), 24; doi:10.3390/ma11010024

Nematic Liquid-Crystal Colloids

J. Stefan Institute, Jamova 39, Ljubljana SI-1000, Slovenia
Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, University of Ljubljana, Jadranska 19, Ljubljana SI-1000, Slovenia
Received: 16 October 2017 / Revised: 13 December 2017 / Accepted: 14 December 2017 / Published: 25 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Designed Colloidal Self-Assembly)
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This article provides a concise review of a new state of colloidal matter called nematic liquid-crystal colloids. These colloids are obtained by dispersing microparticles of different shapes in a nematic liquid crystal that acts as a solvent for the dispersed particles. The microparticles induce a local deformation of the liquid crystal, which then generates topological defects and long-range forces between the neighboring particles. The colloidal forces in nematic colloids are much stronger than the forces in ordinary colloids in isotropic solvents, exceeding thousands of kBT per micrometer-sized particle. Of special interest are the topological defects in nematic colloids, which appear in many fascinating forms, such as singular points, closed loops, multitudes of interlinked and knotted loops or soliton-like structures. The richness of the topological phenomena and the possibility to design and control topological defects with laser tweezers make colloids in nematic liquid crystals an excellent playground for testing the basic theorems of topology. View Full-Text
Keywords: liquid crystal; colloids; experimental topology; handlebodies liquid crystal; colloids; experimental topology; handlebodies

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Muševič, I. Nematic Liquid-Crystal Colloids. Materials 2018, 11, 24.

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