skip to main content

DOE PAGESDOE PAGES

Title: Hexadecapolar Colloids

Outermost occupied electron shells of chemical elements can have symmetries resembling that of monopoles, dipoles, quadrupoles and octupoles corresponding to filled s-, p-, d- and forbitals. Theoretically, elements with hexadecapolar outer shells could also exist, but none of the known elements have filled g-orbitals. On the other hand, the research paradigm of ‘colloidal atoms’ displays complexity of particle behaviour exceeding that of atomic counterparts, which is driven by DNA functionalization, geometric shape and topology and weak external stimuli. We describe elastic hexadecapoles formed by polymer microspheres dispersed in a liquid crystal, a nematic fluid of orientationally ordered molecular rods. Because of conically degenerate boundary conditions, the solid microspheres locally perturb the alignment of the nematic host, inducing hexadecapolar distortions that drive anisotropic colloidal interactions. We uncover physical underpinnings of formation of colloidal elastic hexadecapoles and report the ensuing bonding inaccessible to elastic dipoles, quadrupoles and other nematic colloids studied previously.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [1]
  1. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
  2. Bogolyubov Institute for Theoretical Physics, NAS of Ukraine, Kyiv (Ukraine); Univ. of Akron, OH (United States)
  3. Institute of Physics, NAS of Ukraine, Kyiv (Ukraine)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1240073
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5900-65963
Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Grant/Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Related Information: Nature Communications; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States))
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY colloidal elastic hexadecapoles; bonding; elastic dipoles; quadrupoles; nematic colloids