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You are here: Home Events Shari Finner "Conducting Plastics! - Geometric percolation in liquid crystals"

Shari Finner "Conducting Plastics! - Geometric percolation in liquid crystals"

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Department of Applied Physics, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands

  • Seminar
When Nov 28, 2018
from 02:15 PM to 03:00 PM
Where Seminarraum A, FMF, Stefan-Meier-Str. 21, Freiburg
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Understanding the formation of particle networks in fluid suspensions is a fundamental problem in soft matter theory, but can also help us design novel nanocomposite materials. If the nanoparticles are long and thin, network formation must clearly depend on whether these particles are in the isotropic or in the nematic liquid-crystalline phase. Using continuum theory and Monte Carlo simulations, we show that the size of clusters in the nematic phase is almost an invariant of the particle density, in contrast to the "conventional" behaviour in isotropic suspensions. This unusual effect is caused by a nontrivial coupling between the density and the degree of orientational order, which both affect the mean surface-to-surface distance of neighbouring particles. Interestingly, the physical dimensions of clusters reflect the symmetry of the underlying phase: clusters are much longer than they are wide, suggesting the possibility of using nematics to obtain materials with strongly anisotropic conductivities.

invited by Prof. Tanja Schilling

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