Colloidal interactions and unusual crystallization versus de-mixing of elastic multipoles formed by gold mesoflowers Public Deposited

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  • Colloidal interactions in nematic liquid crystals can be described as interactions between
    elastic multipoles that depend on particle shape, topology, chirality, boundary conditions and
    induced topological defects. Here, we describe a nematic colloidal system consisting of
    mesostructures of gold capable of inducing elastic multipoles of different order. Elastic
    monopoles are formed by relatively large asymmetric mesoflower particles, for which gravity
    and elastic torque balancing yields monopole-type interactions. High-order multipoles are
    instead formed by smaller mesoflowers with a myriad of shapes corresponding to multipoles
    of different orders, consistent with our computer simulations based on free energy minimization.
    We reveal unexpected many-body interactions in this colloidal system, ranging
    from de-mixing of elastic monopoles to a zoo of unusual colloidal crystals formed by highorder
    multipoles like hexadecapoles. Our findings show that gold mesoflowers may serve as a
    designer toolkit for engineering colloidal interaction and self-assembly, potentially exceeding
    that in atomic and molecular systems.

Date Issued
  • 2020-01-10
Academic Affiliation
Journal Title
Journal Volume
  • 11
Last Modified
  • 2020-01-15
Resource Type
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Peer Reviewed
  • 2041-1723