Colluding with colloids: Scientists make liquid crystal discovery

Dec 14, 2006

What do milk, paint, ink and liquid crystals have in common? Colloids. Findings of Kent State University scientists indicate that manipulating the size of colloids, micron-sized or nanometer-sized particles, can produce huge changes in the material properties of liquid crystals.

In a recently published article in the scholarly journal Physical Review Letters, the scientists illustrate that when the concentration and size of the colloids and liquid crystals are properly tuned, the systems formed promise a new technique for synthesizing liquid crystals with specific molecular properties. The ferroelectric nanoparticles have a significant impact on the material properties of the liquid crystal host; meanwhile they are stable in the liquid crystals and invisible to naked eye.

Manipulation of these systems also leads to reduction in the amount of power required to run liquid crystal displays, such as computer screens, and could result in creation of a range of different liquid crystal materials for a wide variety of applications.

On the Net: link.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v97/e147801

Source: Kent State University

Explore further: Controlling defects in engineered liquid crystals

Related Stories

Hydrodynamics approaches to granular matter

13 hours ago

Sand, rocks, grains, salt or sugar are what physicists call granular media. A better understanding of granular media is important - particularly when mixed with water and air, as it forms the foundations of houses and off-shore ...

Snowflakes become square with a little help from graphene

Mar 25, 2015

The breakthrough findings, reported in the journal Nature, allow better understanding of the counterintuitive behaviour of water at the molecular scale and are important for development of more efficient techno ...

Recommended for you

Controlling defects in engineered liquid crystals

8 hours ago

Sitting with a joystick in the comfort of their chairs, scientists can play "rodeo" on a screen magnifying what is happening under their microscope. They rely on optical tweezers to manipulate an intangible ring created out ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.