Electromigration of microspheres in ferroelectric smectic liquid crystals

Dierking, I., Cass, P., Syres, Karen orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-7439-475X, Cresswell, R. and Morton, S. (2007) Electromigration of microspheres in ferroelectric smectic liquid crystals. Physical Review E (PRE), 76 (2).

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.76.021707


When an electric field is applied to microspheres which are dispersed in a ferroelectric smectic liquid crystal, particle translation along the smectic layer plane, i.e., in a direction nearly perpendicular to that of the director, can be observed. Under certain electric field conditions the translation is shown to be linear in time. We have determined the stability regime of linear particle displacement in the parameter space of amplitude and frequency for various applied wave forms. This regime enlarges for increasing electric field amplitude and frequency, with a threshold behavior observed for small parameters. The upper stability boundary is related to the reciprocal ferroelectric switching time. The microspheres translational velocity is independent of the applied electric field amplitude, but increases linearly with applied frequency. The microsphere velocity also increases with increasing temperature, which is indicative of the respective decrease in liquid crystal viscosity. Possible mechanisms of electric-field-induced particle motion are discussed.

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