Three-dimensional complex-shaped photopolymerized microparticles at liquid crystal interfaces

Angel Martinez, Taewoo Lee, Theodor Asavei, Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop, Ivan I. Smalyukh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Microparticles of arbitrary shapes immersed in the bulk of nematic fluids are known to produce dipolar or quadrupolar elastic distortions that can mediate long-range colloidal interactions. We use two-photon photopolymerization to obtain complex-shaped surface-bound microparticles that are then embedded into a nematic liquid crystal host with a uniform far-field director. By means of three-dimensional imaging with multi-photon excitation fluorescence polarizing microscopy, we demonstrate low-symmetry, long-range elastic distortions induced by the particles in the liquid crystal director field. These director distortions may provide a means for controlling elastic interactions in liquid crystals between custom-designed photopolymerized microparticles attached to confining solid substrates and nematic fluid-borne colloids, thus enabling elasticity-mediated templated self-assembly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2432-2437
Number of pages6
JournalSoft matter
Issue number8
StatePublished - Feb 28 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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