Quantum-dots-dispersed bent-core nematic liquid crystal and cybotactic clusters: experimental and theoretical insights

Sourav Patranabish, Yiwei Wang, Aloka Sinha, Apala Majumdar

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Abstract

We study a quantum-dots (QDs) dispersed bent-core nematic liquid crystalline system in planar geometry and present experimental measurements of the birefringence (Δn), order parameter (S), dielectric dispersion, absorption spectra, and optical textures with attention to variations with temperature. A bent-core liquid crystal (LC) 14−2M−CH3 is used as the host material and CdSe/ZnS core-shell type QDs are used as the dopant. The nematic (N) phase of the pristine (undoped) LC 14−2M−CH3 contains cybotactic clusters, which are retained by its QDs incorporated LC nanocomposite. Our experimental findings support: (i) reduced orientational order parameter of the QDs dispersed LC system compared to its pristine counterpart at fixed temperatures, (ii) reduced cybotactic cluster sizes due to the incorporation of QDs, and (iii) increased activation energies related to reduced cluster sizes. We complement the experiments with a novel Landau–de Gennes-type free energy for a doped bent-core LC system that qualitatively captures the doping-induced reduced order parameter and its dependence on the properties of the QDs and its variation with temperature.
Original languageEnglish
Article number052703
JournalPhysical Review E
Volume103
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2021

Keywords

  • dielectric properties
  • phase transitions
  • order parameters

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