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Colloidal Doping of Cholesterics and Blue Phases

Tuesday 25th June 2013 - 09:45 to 10:30
Center for Mathematical Sciences
At the interface between a cholesteric phase and an isotropic fluid, an array of defects arises. This creates for embedded colloidal particles a free energy landscape that depends on the ratio of colloid size to cholesteric pitch and on the strength of anchoring at the colloid-cholesteric interface. I shall outline recent experiments and simulations that probe this landscape. A somewhat similar situation arises when colloids are added to blue phases, for which the defect array is not interfacial but permeates the bulk phase. Preliminary simulations suggest a variety of structures, many metastable, with interesting transitions inducible by external fields and/or flow.
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University of Cambridge Research Councils UK
    Clay Mathematics Institute London Mathematical Society NM Rothschild and Sons