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Langmuir. 2005 Aug 16;21(17):8048-57.

Flow behavior of colloidal rodlike viruses in the nematic phase.

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IFF, Institut Weiche Materie, Forschungszentrum Jülich, D-52425 Jülich, Germany.


The behavior of a colloidal suspension of rodlike fd viruses in the nematic phase, subjected to steady state and transient shear flows, is studied. The monodisperse nature of these rods combined with relatively small textural contribution to the overall stress make this a suitable model system to investigate the effects of flow on the nonequilibrium phase diagram. Transient rheological experiments are used to determine the critical shear rates at which director tumbling, wagging, and flow-aligning occurs. The present model system enables us to study the effect of rod concentration on these transitions. The results are in quantitatively agreement with the Doi-Edwards-Hess model. Moreover, we observe that there is a strong connection between the dynamic transitions and structure formation, which is not incorporated in theory.


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