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Experimental realization of biaxial liquid crystal phases in colloidal dispersions of boardlike particles

By E van den Pol, A.V. Petukhov, D.M.E. Thies-Weesie, D.V. Belov and G.J. Vroege


Biaxial nematic and biaxial smectic phases were found in a colloidal model system of goethite ( -FeOOH) particles with a simple boardlike shape and short-range repulsive interaction. The macroscopic domains were oriented by a magnetic field and their structure was revealed by small angle x-ray scattering. In accordance with theoretical predictions, biaxiality appears in a system with particles that have a shape almost exactly in between rodlike and platelike. Our results suggest that biaxial phases can be readily obtained by a proper choice of the particle shape

Year: 2009
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