Nematic-Wetted Colloids in the Isotropic Phase: Pairwise Interaction, Biaxiality, and Defects

P. Galatola, J.-B. Fournier
2001 Physical Review Letters  
We calculate the interaction between two spherical colloidal particles embedded in the isotropic phase of a nematogenic liquid. The surface of the particles induces wetting nematic coronas that mediate an elastic interaction. In the weak wetting regime, we obtain exact results for the interaction energy and the texture, showing that defects and biaxiality arise, although they are not topologically required. We evidence rich behaviors, including the possibility of reversible colloidal
more » ... olloidal aggregation and dispersion. Complex anisotropic self-assembled phases might be formed in dense suspensions.
doi:10.1103/physrevlett.86.3915 pmid:11329356 fatcat:q3dr5k6robgadhwwweibk6w36a