Stable Smectic Phase in Suspensions of Polydisperse Colloidal Platelets with Identical Thickness Articles uri icon

publication date

  • October 2009

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 6

issue

  • 4, Parte 1

volume

  • 80

international standard serial number (ISSN)

  • 1539-3755

electronic international standard serial number (EISSN)

  • 1550-2376

abstract

  • We report the nematic and smectic ordering in an aqueous suspension of monolayer alfa-Zirconium phosphate platelets possessing a high polydispersity in diameter but uniform thickness. We observe an isotropic-nematic transition as the platelet volume fraction increases, followed by the formation of a smectic, an elusive phase that has been rarely seen in discotic liquid crystals. The smectic phase is characterized by x-ray diffraction high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, and optical microscopy. The phase equilibria in this highly polydisperse suspension are rationalized in terms of a theoretical approach based on density-functional theory.