Electric-Field Effects in Dilute Suspensions of Carbon Nanotubes Dispersed in Nematic Liquid Crystals
Colloids composed of liquid-crystal hydrosols exhibit a rich set of interesting phenomena. The coupling between liquid-crystalline media and colloidal particles plays an essential role leading to an abundant source of new physics. In the last few years, peculiar behaviors of carbon-nanotube-doped calamitic liquid crystals have attracted considerable attention. This paper provides a brief introduction to this alluring subject for its on-going research development in this laboratory. First presented are our current understandings of the nematic colloidal system comprising carbon nanotubes and of their possible orientation and dynamics under the application of an external field. Various electro-optical and electrical properties of a liquid-crystal display rectified by the nanoscale carbonaceous guest are then addressed to a larger extent. Dielectric relaxation obtained from a nematic impregnated with carbon nanotubes is also discussed. With historical significance for the dawn of the liquid-crystal–carbon-nanotube research, several important findings of enhanced nonlinear optical properties in typical nematic mesomaterials consisting of suspended nanotubes are delineated. With the new colloidal systems of elongated nanoscale solids dispersed in anisotropic fluids in the mesophase, many new intriguing phenomena are awaiting theoretical and experimental explorations. Collaborations are called to draw attention of interested theoretical physicists, in particular.
Yuan Ming Huang
M. Rahman and W. Lee, "Electric-Field Effects in Dilute Suspensions of Carbon Nanotubes Dispersed in Nematic Liquid Crystals", Key Engineering Materials, Vols. 428-429, pp. 173-181, 2010