Colloidal particles dissolved in a nematic solvent experience long-ranged interactions. These effective interactions are generated by the distortions of the liquid crystal director around the particles and results in their clustering and self-organization. Upon approaching and at the nematic-isotropic transition, the solvent forms nematic and isotropic domains, which leads to an additional interaction of the particles with the interface between the two phases.
Using finite-element methods with adaptive meshes and molecular dynamics we are looking at the effective interparticle interactions induced by the defects and nematic-isotropic interface.
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