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Orientation dependent Stokes drag in a colloidal liquid crystal

By A.A. Verhoeff, J. van Rijssel, V.W.A. de Villeneuve and H.N.W. Lekkerkerker


Stokes drag on the (sub)micrometre scale plays a key role in phenomena ranging from Brownian motion to the rheology of particulate suspensions. We report the first measurement of the direction dependent Stokes drag in a nematic liquid crystal of colloidal rods, where the viscous forces are of equal importance to the elastic forces. By tracking a sedimenting sphere with combined fluorescence confocal microscopy and polarization microscopy we find that the Stokes drag for motion along the director is two times larger than for motion perpendicular to the director. This brings the unique viscoelastic properties of a colloidal liquid crystal into focus

Year: 2008
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