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The Isotropic-Nematic Interface in Suspensions of Na-Fluorohectorite Synthetic Clay

Abstract : Colloidal suspensions of Na-fluorohectorite synthetic clay platelets in saline water exhibit coexisting isotropic andnematic phases, due to gravitational separation of the polydisperse particles. Westudy the ordering of the platelets at the interfaces between various coexisting phases. Four different experimental techniques are employed: visual observation of birefringence, synchrotron wide angle and small-angle X-ray scattering, and magnetic resonance imaging. We find that at the narrow isotropic sol-nematic sol interface the platelets are lying horizontally, i.e. with their mean platelet normal along the vertical direction. The experiments indicate that the platelets align homeotropically both at the isotropic sol-nematic sol interface and at the nematic sol-wall interface. We further investigate the complex alignment effect of a horizontally applied magnetic field in the nematic sol, and we compare it with the adjacent nematic gel.
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Submitted on : Thursday, February 3, 2011 - 3:17:04 PM
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Henrik Hemmen, Nils I. Ringdal, Eduardo de Azevedo, Mario Engelsbreg, Elisabeth Hansen, et al.. The Isotropic-Nematic Interface in Suspensions of Na-Fluorohectorite Synthetic Clay. Langmuir, American Chemical Society, 2009, 25 (21), pp.12507-12515. ⟨10.1021/la901784k⟩. ⟨insu-00562555⟩



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