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Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2010 Apr;81(4 Pt 1):041703. Epub 2010 Apr 26.

Nanoparticle-induced widening of the temperature range of liquid-crystalline blue phases.

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1
National Centre for Scientific Research Demokritos, 15310 Aghia Paraskevi, Greece.

Abstract

Liquid-crystalline blue phases exhibit exceptional properties for applications in the display and sensor industry. However, in single component systems, they are stable only for very narrow temperature range between the isotropic and the chiral nematic phase, a feature that severely hinders their applicability. Systematic high-resolution calorimetric studies reveal that blue phase III is effectively stabilized in a wide temperature range by mixing surface-functionalized nanoparticles with chiral liquid crystals. This effect is present for two liquid crystals, yielding a robust method to stabilize blue phases, especially blue phase III. Theoretical arguments show that the aggregation of nanoparticles at disclination lines is responsible for the observed effects.

PMID:
20481736
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevE.81.041703
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