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Materials 2014, 7(6), 4272-4281; doi:10.3390/ma7064272

Janus Nematic Colloids with Designable Valence

1 Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, University of Ljubljana, Jadranska 19, Ljubljana 1000, Slovenia 2 Jozef Stefan Institute, Jamova 34, Ljubljana 1000, Slovenia
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 April 2014 / Revised: 21 May 2014 / Accepted: 23 May 2014 / Published: 30 May 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liquid Crystals)
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Generalized Janus nematic colloids based on various morphologies of particle surface patches imposing homeotropic and planar surface anchoring are demonstrated. By using mesoscopic numerical modeling, multiple types of Janus particles are explored, demonstrating a variety of novel complex colloidal structures. We also show binding of Janus particles to a fixed Janus post in the nematic cell, which acts as a seed and a micro-anchor for the colloidal structure. Janus colloidal structures reveal diverse topological defect configurations, which are effectively combinations of surface boojum and bulk defects. Topological analysis is applied to defects, importantly showing that topological charge is not a well determined topological invariant in such patchy nematic Janus colloids. Finally, this work demonstrates colloidal structures with designable valence, which could allow for targeted and valence-conditioned self-assembly at micro- and nano-scale.
Keywords: Janus colloids; nematic liquid crystal; surface anchoring; valence Janus colloids; nematic liquid crystal; surface anchoring; valence
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Čopar, S.; Ravnik, M.; Žumer, S. Janus Nematic Colloids with Designable Valence. Materials 2014, 7, 4272-4281.

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