By: Dirk Aarts
From: University of Oxford
At: Instituto de Investigação Interdisciplinar, Anfiteatro
The ongoing miniaturization in science and technology increases the importance of surfaces and boundaries and raises new questions about the behaviour of liquids in confinement. One particularly suitable way to study these emerging questions is by combining colloid science with soft-lithography techniques. We will focus on two problems. Firstly, we will study the nematic phase of rodlike fd virus particles confined to channels with wedge structured walls. Here, we observe a splay to bend transition at the single particle level as a function of the wedge opening angle. Lattice Boltzmann simulations reveal the liquid crystal dynamics and enable us to understand the position of defects in the channel and the splay to bend elasticity ratio of the fd virus. Secondly, we will study the fluid-fluid demixing kinetics and morphology of a system of spherical colloids and non-adsorbing polymers confined between two parallel walls. We follow the dynamics at the single domain level, which allows us to test the stability of the formed liquid bridges.