ICAMS / Interdisciplinary Centre for Advanced Materials Simulation

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Non-monotonic rheology of a magnetic liquid crystal mixture in an external field

Date: 11.09.2019
Time: 02:00 p.m.
Place: ICAMS seminar room IC 02-718

Nima Hamidi Siboni, Computer simulations and theory of complex fluids, TU Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Utilizing molecular dynamics simulations, we report a non-monotonic dependence of the shear stress on the strength of an external magnetic field (H) in a liquid-crystalline mixture of magnetic and non-magnetic anisotropic particles. This non-monotonic behavior is in sharp contrast with the well-studied monotonic H-dependency of the shear stress in conventional ferrofluids, where the shear stress increases with H until it reaches a saturation value. We relate the origin of this non-monotonicity to the competing effects of particle alignment along the shear-induced direction, on the one hand, and the magnetic field direction on the other hand. To isolate the role of these competing effects, we consider a two-component mixture composed of particles with effectively identical steric interactions, where the orientations of a small fraction, i.e. the magnetic ones, are coupled to the external magnetic field. By increasing H from zero, the orientations of the magnetic particles show a Freederickz-like transition and eventually start deviating from the shear-induced orientation, leading to an increase in shear stress. Upon further increase of H, a demixing of the magnetic particles, from the non-magnetic ones, occurs which leads to a drop in shear stress, hence creating a non-monotonic response to H. Unlike the equilibrium demixing phenomena reported in previous studies, the demixing observed here is neither due to size-polydispersity nor due to a wall-induced nematic transition. Based on a simplified Onsager analysis, we rather argue that it occurs solely due to packing entropy of particles with different shear- or magnetic-field-induced orientations.

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