Islands in free standing smectic C films


Silvestre, N. M.1, 2, Patrício, P1, 3 and Telo da Gama, M M1, 2

1 Centro de Física Teórica e Computacional da Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal; 2 Departamento de Física da Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal; 3 Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa, Portugal


Colloidal dispersions in liquid crystals are different from the ordinary colloids due to the long-range orientational order of the liquid crystal molecules. In addition, colloidal particles present complex interactions that have a long-range dipolar or quadrupolar profile that are an important feature of the self-organisation into supermolecular structures specific from colloidal liquid crystals. The structures observed in experiments are stabilized by the presence of topological defects that induce complex short-range repulsions. The study of such interactions in films is important for a complete understanding of three dimensional colloidal dispersions in liquid crystal. We present some of the work done on dipolar and quadrupolar interactions of colloidal particles in smectic C films.