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Phys Rev Lett. 2007 Jun 15;98(24):247801. Epub 2007 Jun 13.

Colloid particles in the interaction field of a disclination line in a nematic phase.

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1
Institut de Physique et Chimie des Matériaux de Strasbourg, UMR 7504 (CNRS-Université Louis Pasteur), 23 rue du Loess, 67034 Strasbourg, France.

Abstract

On the basis of linear hydrodynamics, we analyze the trajectory of particle-hedgehog systems, attracted by a -1/2 disclination (defect line) in a nematic liquid crystal. We show that, as with the interactions between like-particles, the interaction between a particle and a disclination has an electrostatic analogue, the splay replacing the electric field, except for the symmetry properties. The disclination thus attracts the beads along nonradial tracks and in a self-assembling process, or template mechanism, may build a microscopic necklace with them.

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