TANAKA LAB. Physics of Soft Condensed Matter The University of Tokyo Graduate School of Engineering Department of Applied Physics The University of Tokyo Institute of Industrial Science Department of Fundamental Engineering
Entrance > Research > Polymer, Liquid Crystal, Colloid, Membrane, Protein > Complex System of Soft Matters > Transparent Nematic Phase in a Liquid-Crystal-Based Microemulsion
Polymer, Liquid Crystal, Colloid, Membrane, ProteinLiquid, Glass, GelLight and Soft Matter
Phase Separation in a Normal Fluid MixtureViscoelastic Phase SeparationPhase Separation of Colloidal SuspensionsNumerical Simulations of Viscoelastic Phase SeparationMicro-Phase Separation in Diblock CopolymerInterplay between Wetting and Phase SeparationPhase Separation under External FieldsDynamic Control of the Smectic MembranesCritical Phenomena in Polymer SolutionsCoil-Globule Transition of a Single PolymerColloidal ‘Atom’Colloidal Gel NetworkElectrophoretic Separation of Charged ParticlesAggregation of Charged Colloidal SystemsSurface-Assisted Monodomain Formation of a Lyotropic Liquid CrystalShear-Induced Topological Transitions in a Membrane SystemSpontaneous Onion-Structure FormationSelf-Organization in Phase Separation of a Lyotropic Liquid CrystalTransparent Nematic Phase in a Liquid-Crystal-Based MicroemulsionColloidal Aggregation in a Nematic Liquid CrystalPhase Separation of a Mixture of an Isotropic Liquid and a Liquid CrystalSpontaneous Partitioning of Particles in a Membrane System

Transparent Nematic Phase in a Liquid-Crystal-Based Microemulsion

Transparent Nematic Phase in a Liquid-Crystal-Based Microemulsion Complex fluids are usually produced by mixing together several distinct components, the interactions between which can give rise to unusual optical and rheological properties of the system as a whole. For example, the properties of microemulsions (composed of water, oil and surfactants) are determined by the microscopic structural organization of the fluid that occurs owing to phase separation of the component elements. Here we investigate the effect of introducing an additional organizing factor into such a fluid system, by replacing the oil component of a conventional water-in-oil microemulsion with an intrinsically anisotropic fluid—a nematic liquid crystal. As with the conventional case, the fluid phase-separates into an emulsion of water microdroplets (stabilized by the surfactant as inverse micelles) dispersed in the ‘oil’ phase. But the properties are further influenced by a significant directional coupling between the liquid-crystal molecules and the surfactant tails that emerge (essentially radially) from the micelles. The result is a modified bulk-liquid crystal that is an ordered nematic at the mesoscopic level, but which does not exhibit the strong light scattering generally associated with bulk nematic order: the bulk material here is essentially isotropic and thus transparent.

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