181 research outputs found

    Rhythmic cluster generation in strongly driven colloidal dispersions

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    We study the response of a nematic colloidal dispersion of rods to a driven probe particle which is dragged with high speed through the dispersion perpendicular to the nematic director. In front of the dragged particle, clusters of rods are generated which rhythmically grow and dissolve by rotational motion. We find evidence for a mesoscopic cluster-cluster correlation length, {\em independent} of the imposed drag speed. Our results are based on non-equilibrium Brownian dynamics computer simulations and in line with a dynamical scaling theory.Comment: 4 pages, 5 figures, to appear in Phys. Rev. Let

    Concentration Dependen Sedimentation of Collidal Rods

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    In the first part of this paper, an approximate theory is developed for the leading order concentration dependence of the sedimentation coefficient for rod-like colloids/polymers/macromolecules. To first order in volume fraction ϕ\phi of rods, the sedimentation coefficient is written as 1+αϕ1+\alpha \phi. For large aspect ratio L/D (L is the rod length, D it's thickness) α\alpha is found to very like (LD)2/log(LD)\propto (\frac{L}{D})^2/\log (\frac{L}{D}). This theoretical prediction is compared to experimental results. In the second part, experiments on {\it fd}-virus are described, both in the isotropic and nematic phase. First order in concentration results for this very long and thin (semi-flexible) rod are in agreement with the above theoretical prediction. Sedimentation profiles for the nematic phase show two sedimentation fronts. This result indicates that the nematic phase becomes unstable with the respect to isotropic phase during sedimentation.Comment: Submitted to J. Chem. Phys. See related webpage http://www.elsie.brandeis.ed

    Self-organized dynamics and the transition to turbulence of confined active nematics

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    We study how confinement transforms the chaotic dynamics of bulk microtubule-based active nematics into regular spatiotemporal patterns. For weak confinements, multiple continuously nucleating and annihilating topological defects self-organize into persistent circular flows of either handedness. Increasing confinement strength leads to the emergence of distinct dynamics, in which the slow periodic nucleation of topological defects at the boundary is superimposed onto a fast procession of a pair of defects. A defect pair migrates towards the confinement core over multiple rotation cycles, while the associated nematic director field evolves from a distinct double spiral towards a nearly circularly symmetric configuration. The collapse of the defect orbits is punctuated by another boundary-localized nucleation event, that sets up long-term doubly-periodic dynamics. Comparing experimental data to a theoretical model of an active nematic, reveals that theory captures the fast procession of a pair of +12+\frac{1}{2} defects, but not the slow spiral transformation nor the periodic nucleation of defect pairs. Theory also fails to predict the emergence of circular flows in the weak confinement regime. The developed confinement methods are generalized to more complex geometries, providing a robust microfluidic platform for rationally engineering two-dimensional autonomous flows

    Structure and equation of state of interaction site models for disc-shaped lamellar colloids

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    We apply RISM (Reference Interaction Site Model) and PRISM (polymer-RISM) theories to calculate the site-site pair structure and the osmotic equation of state of suspensions of circular or hexagonal platelets (lamellar colloids) over a range of ratios of the particle diameter over thickness. Despite the neglect of edge effects, the simpler PRISM theory yields results in good agreement with the more elaborate RISM calculations, provided the correct form factor, characterizing the intramolecular structure of the platelets, is used. The RISM equation of state is sensitive to the number of sites used to model the platelets, but saturates when the hard spheres, associated with the interaction sites, nearly touch; the limiting equation of state agrees reasonably well with available simulation data for all densities up to the isotropic-nematic transition. When properly scaled with the second virial coefficient, the equations of state of platelets with different aspect ratios nearly collapse on a single master curve.Comment: 10 Pages, 11 Figures, Typesetted using RevTeX

    Nematic Ordering of Rigid Rods in a Gravitational Field

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    The isotropic-to-nematic transition in an athermal solution of long rigid rods subject to a gravitational (or centrifugal) field is theoretically considered in the Onsager approximation. The new feature emerging in the presence of gravity is a concentration gradient which coupled with the nematic ordering. For rodlike molecules this effect becomes noticeable at centrifugal acceleration g ~ 10^3--10^4 m/s^2, while for biological rodlike objects, such as tobacco mosaic virus, TMV, the effect is important even for normal gravitational acceleration conditions. Rods are concentrated near the bottom of the vessel which sometimes leads to gravity induced nematic ordering. The concentration range corresponding to phase separation increases with increasing g. In the region of phase separation the local rod concentration, as well as the order parameter, follow a step function with height.Comment: Full article http://prola.aps.org/abstract/PRE/v60/i3/p2973_

    Measurements of Protein-Protein Interactions by Size Exclusion Chromatography

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    A method is presented for determining second virial coefficients B_2 of protein solutions from retention time measurements in size exclusion chromatography (SEC). We determine B_2 by analyzing the concentration dependance of the chromatographic partition coefficient. We show the ability of this method to track the evolution of B_2 from positive to negative values in lysozyme and bovine serum albumin solutions. Our SEC results agree quantitatively with data obtained by light scattering.Comment: 18 pages including 1 table and 5 figure

    Isotropic-nematic phase transition in suspensions of filamentous virus and the neutral polymer Dextran

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    We present an experimental study of the isotropic-nematic phase transition in an aqueous mixture of charged semi-flexible rods (fd virus) and neutral polymer (Dextran). A complete phase diagram is measured as a function of ionic strength and polymer molecular weight. At high ionic strength we find that adding polymer widens the isotropic-nematic coexistence region with polymers preferentially partitioning into the isotropic phase, while at low ionic strength the added polymer has no effect on the phase transition. The nematic order parameter is determined from birefringence measurements and is found to be independent of polymer concentration (or equivalently the strength of attraction). The experimental results are compared with the existing theoretical predictions for the isotropic-nematic transition in rods with attractive interactions.Comment: 8 Figures. To be published in Phys. Rev. E. For more information see http://www.elsie.brandeis.ed