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Tunable structures of mixtures of magnetic particles in liquid-crystalline matrices

Peroukidis, Stavros D.; Lichtner, Ken; Klapp, Sabine H. L.

We investigate the self-organization of a binary mixture of similar sized rods and dipolar soft spheres by means of Monte-Carlo simulations. We model interparticle interactions by employing anisotropic Gay-Berne, dipolar and soft-sphere interactions. In the limit of vanishing magnetic moments we obtain a variety of fully miscible liquid crystalline phases including nematic, smectic and lamellar phases. For the magnetic mixture, we find that the liquid crystalline matrix supports the formation of orientationally ordered ferromagnetic chains. Depending on the relative size of the species the chains align parallel or perpendicular to the director of the rods forming uniaxial or biaxial nematic, smectic and lamellar phases. As an exemplary external perturbation we apply a homogeneous magnetic field causing uniaxial or biaxial ordering to an otherwise isotropic state.
Published in: Soft matter, 10.1039/c5sm00903k, Royal Society of Chemistry
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