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Séminaire Paul van der Schoot

Isotropic-nematic interfaces : surface tension versus elasticity

Paul van der Schoot

Group Theoretical and Polymer Physics
Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands

An outline is given how within macroscopic theory surface anchoring, interfacial tension and the elastic deformation of the director field influence the shape and director field of free floating nematic droplets (tactoids) and the capillary rise of the interface between isotropic and nematic phases near a solid wall. Special attention is given to lyotropic nematics for which the isotropic-nematic surface tension is very small, giving rise to unusual droplet shapes and capillary rise profiles.