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2015 | 127 | 2 | 157-162
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How to Enhance Sensitivity of Liquid Crystals to External Magnetic Field?

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Liquid crystals, due to their large dielectric anisotropy, respond very sensitively to application of an external electric field, whereas they are only weakly sensitive to the magnetic field. A possible way of improving that sensitivity is doping liquid crystals with magnetic nanoparticles. As a result, stable colloidal suspensions of liquid crystals with relatively low concentrations of magnetic nanoparticles (called ferronematics, ferrocholesterics, ferrosmectics, etc.) can be produced. We illustrate some examples of the influence of the magnetic field, as well as of a superposition of magnetic and electric fields on the structural transitions (e.g. on the Fréedericksz transition) in ferronematics based on the calamitic liquid crystal 4-(trans-4'-n-hexylcyclohexyl)-isothiocyanatobenzene (6CHBT). It is shown that the samples respond to the applied magnetic field of low strength. The effects of the magnetic particles and magnetic field on the nematic to isotropic phase transition temperature are discussed as well.
Physical description
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