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Durham Centre for Soft Matter


29 May 2018: Farewell Symposium for Prof Tom McLeish, FRS

Department of Physics (PH30). Please follow this link to see the programme and to register for the event.

25 April 2018: Seminar by Prof. Paul van der Schoot

Professor Paul van der Schoot will be visiting from Eindhoven University of Technology. He will give a seminar at 1pm in PH30 on Wednesday 25 April. If you would like an individual slot to speak to Paul on the afternoon of Tuesday 24th or morning of Wednesday 25th, please contact Mark Miller.

Carbon Nanotube-Based Lyotropic Liquid Crystal Microdroplets in Bulk and on Solid Surfaces

Dispersions of long, rod-like particles such as carbon nanotubes are known to form spindle-shaped, cylindrically symmetric elongated nematic liquid crystalline droplets in coexistence with the isotropic phase. Their shape and director field structure depends on the size of the drops, the interfacial tension, anchoring strength and elastic constants. In contact with a wall, the droplets become more elongated due to the effects of line tension. By visualising hundreds of nematic droplets of carbon nanotubes dissolved in chlorosulfonic acid and applying elasticity theory to fit the data, we extract information on the elastic and surface properties of the droplets. For sessile drops we find that the ratio of the line tension and the interfacial tension for this particular system equals −0.84 ± 0.06 μm. This ratio is 2 orders of magnitude larger than what has been reported for conventional fluids, in agreement with scaling arguments.