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

Patranabish, Sourav and Wang, Yiwei and Sinha, Aloka and Majumdar, Apala (2021) Quantum-dots-dispersed bent-core nematic liquid crystal and cybotactic clusters : experimental and theoretical insights. Physical Review E, 103 (5). 052703. ISSN 1539-3755

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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.

    ORCID iDs

    Patranabish, Sourav, Wang, Yiwei, Sinha, Aloka and Majumdar, Apala ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4802-6720;