Nanoparticle-induced widening of the temperature range of liquid-crystalline blue phases
Karatairi, Eva × Rozic, Brigita Kutnjak, Zdravko Tzitzios, Vassilios Nounesis, George Cordoyiannis, George Thoen, Jan Glorieux, Christ Kralj, Samo #
Amer physical soc
Physical review e vol:81 issue:4
Liquid-crystalline blue phases exhibit exceptional properties for applications in the display and sensor industry. However, in single component systems, they are stable only for very narrow temperature range between the isotropic and the chiral nematic phase, a feature that severely hinders their applicability. Systematic high-resolution calorimetric studies reveal that blue phase III is effectively stabilized in a wide temperature range by mixing surface-functionalized nanoparticles with chiral liquid crystals. This effect is present for two liquid crystals, yielding a robust method to stabilize blue phases, especially blue phase III. Theoretical arguments show that the aggregation of nanoparticles at disclination lines is responsible for the observed effects.