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Collective dynamics and conformal ordering in electrophoretically driven nematic colloids

  • We present a theoretical framework to understand the collective dynamics of an ensemble of electrophoretically driven colloidal particles that are forced to assemble around a single topological defect in a nematic liquid crystal by an alternating current electric field. Our generic model combines phoretic propulsion with electrostatic interactions and liquid-crystal-mediated hydrodynamics, which are effectively cast into a long-range interparticle repulsion, while nematic elasticity plays a subdominant role. Simulations based on this model fully capture the collective organization process observed in the experiments and other striking effects as the emergence of conformal ordering and a nearly frequency-independent repulsive interaction above 10Hz. Our results demonstrate the importance of hydrodynamic interactions on the assembly of driven microscale matter in anisotropic media.
Author:Arthur StraubeORCiD, Josep M. Pagès, Pietro Tierno, Jordi Ignés-Mullol, Francesc Sagués
Document Type:Article
Parent Title (English):Phys. Rev. Research
First Page:022008
Year of first publication:2019
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