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Light-induced assembly of tailored droplet arrays in nematic emulsions
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2.The repulsive interaction between electrically neutral particles in nematic LC arises from the elastic deformation induced by the orientational boundary condition at the surface of suspended particles. In the case of glycerol droplets in 5CB, the alignment at the droplet surface is constrained to be planar to the surface, and generates a long-range orientational distortion around the droplet. According to the theory given in the previous report,9 the orientational repulsive force is quadrupolar and proportional to with and being the radius and the separation of the droplets, respectively; is the surface anchoring energy. The orientational attractive force, on the other hand, is dipolar and is proportional to
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17.The cis isomer is expected to be preferentially adsorbed on the droplet surface due to its polarity, thereby disrupting the initial planar alignment. Under illumination of UV light, therefore, the anchoring energy may be substantially reduced, presumably resulting in the vanishing elastic repulsive force Although the thermal conversion is slow, illumination with visible light induces rapid transformation of cis isomer to trans. Thus, we expect that the elastic repulsive force is recovered and drives the homogenous explosion of condensed droplets as observed experimentally.
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