University of Birmingham > Talks@bham > Condensed Matter Physics Seminars > Dynamics and colloidal rods at rest and in external fields

Dynamics and colloidal rods at rest and in external fields

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  • UserDr. Pavlik Lettinga, FZ Juelich
  • ClockWednesday 23 May 2012, 14:00-15:00
  • HousePhysics East 217.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Elizabeth Blackburn.

Colloidal rods form the most basic system to study the origin of self-assembled structures. Depending on concentration it can form phases with only orientational ordering and 1-, 2- and 3-D positional ordering. In this talk I will first show what can be learned from the dynamical behavior of individual rods about the nature of the equilibrium self-assembly. This is experimentally achieved by tracking rod-like viruses with video fluorescence microscopy. The viruses ideal model systems since they are very slender, monodisperse and can be made with variable stiffness. Dynamic signatures for the different phase transitions are obtained, leading to a reconsideration of the nature of the transitions.

Another interesting aspect of colloidal rods is that they are very susceptible to external fields. In shear flow the torque on the rod will cause alignment, while in confinement rods tend to align with the wall. Both effects can drive or frustrate structure formation. In the second part of the talk, I will give several examples of this interplay of rod dispersions with external fields and show pathways to a microscopic understanding of the observed phenomena.

This talk is part of the Condensed Matter Physics Seminars series.

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