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Advances in Condensed Matter Physics
Volume 2015, Article ID 803480, 9 pages
Research Article

Controlled Nanoparticle Targeting and Nanoparticle-Driven Nematic Structural Transition

1Moscow State University of Instrument Engineering and Computer Science, Stromynka 20, Moscow 107996, Russia
2Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, University of Maribor, Koroska 160, SI-2000 Maribor, Slovenia

Received 21 November 2014; Revised 25 December 2014; Accepted 19 January 2015

Academic Editor: Ivan Smalyukh

Copyright © 2015 A. V. Dubtsov et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We study experimentally and theoretically controlled targeting of specific nanoparticles (NPs) to different regions within nematic liquid crystal. Using a simple mesoscopic Landau-de Gennes-type model in terms of a tensor nematic order parameter, we demonstrate a general mechanism which could be exploited for controlled targeting of NPs within a spatially nonhomogeneous nematic texture. Furthermore, we experimentally demonstrate using polarising microscopy that even a relatively low concentration of localised appropriate NPs could trigger a nematic structural transition. A simple estimate is derived to account for the observed transition.