Aspect ratio and polydispersity dependence of isotropic-nematic transition in discotic suspensions

Andres F. Mejia, Ya Wen Chang, Ratna Ng, Min Shuai, M. Sam Mannan, Zhengdong Cheng

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Abstract

We demonstrate the strong dependency of the isotropic-nematic (I-N) transition of discotic suspensions on the aspect ratio (ξ = thickness/diameter) via control of the sizes of pristine ZrP crystals and subsequent exfoliation to monolayers. The size fractionation of the I-N transition facilitates the analysis of the effect of polydispersity. A systematic variation in the aspect ratio in the low aspect ratio region (0.001 < ξ < 0.01) showed that the I-N transition volume fraction increases with the aspect ratio in agreement with computer simulations. It was found that the transition volume fractions scale with aspect ratio φ I,N = mξ1.36 ±0.07, where the prefactor m strongly depends on size polydispersity for φ N but does not depend on size polydispersity for φ I with φ I and φ N being the volume fractions of the isotropic and the nematic phases on the cloud curves, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Article number061708
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Volume85
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 20 2012

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