The nonequilibrium response of a colloidal liquid-crystalline nematic phase to an external aligning field, which rotates in a plane, is explored by dynamical fundamental measure density-functional theory. Depending on the drive frequency, different dynamical states are found, which are characterized by towing and overtaking of the nematic director by the field as well as by breathing and dynamical splitting of the orientational distribution peak. This complex response can be exploited for smart optical switching and mixing devices.
- Received 23 December 2009
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