Condensed Matter Seminar: "Building Colloidal Aggregates in Anisotropic Media"
Colloids in a liquid crystal matrix exhibit very anisotropic interactions. Further, these interactions can be altered by both properties of the colloid and of the liquid crystal. This gives the potential for creating specific colloidal aggregates and crystals by manipulating the interactions between colloids using the colloidal shape, surface properties, and even dynamics. However, modelling these interacting colloids in a liquid crystal is very challenging. We use a hybrid particle-lattice Boltzmann scheme that incorporates hydrodynamic forces and forces from the liquid crystal field. I will discuss systems that we have studied, including rods, spheres, and disks in nematic and cholesteric liquid crystals, and the aggregates they form such as chains and a potentially stable colloidal crystal with a diamond lattice structure.