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Macroscopic optical effects in low concentration ferronematics

By Nina Podoliak, Oleksandr Buchnev, Oleksandr Buluy, Giampaolo D'Alessandro, Malgosia Kaczmarek, Yuriy Reznikov and Timothy J. Sluckin


We present a detailed experimental and theoretical study of the optical response of suspensions of ferromagnetic nanoparticles (“ferroparticles”) in nematic liquid crystals (“ferronematics”), concentrating on the magnetic field-induced Frederiks transition. Even extremely low ferroparticle concentrations (at a volume fraction between 2 × 10?5 and 2 × 10?4), induce a significant additional ferronematic linear response at low magnetic field (<100 G) and a decrease in the effective magnetic Frederiks threshold. The experimental results demonstrate that our system has weak ferronematic behavior. The proposed theory takes into account the nematic diamagnetism and assumes that the effective magnetic susceptibility, induced by the nanoparticles, no longer dominates the response. The theory is in good agreement with the experimental data for the lowest concentration suspensions and predicts the main features of the more concentrated ones. The deviations observed in these cases hint at extra effects due to particle aggregation, which we have also observed directly in photograph

Topics: QC
Year: 2011
OAI identifier:
Provided by: e-Prints Soton

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