Nematic order in small systems: Measuring the elastic and wall-anchoring constants in vibrofluidized granular rods

Jennifer Galanis*, Ralph Nossal, Wolfgang Losert, Daniel Harries

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

We investigate nematic order in vibrated granular rods confined to a small quasi-2D container less than 10 rod lengths in diameter. As rod density ρ increases, patterning shifts from bipolar to uniform alignment. We find that a continuum liquid crystal free energy functional captures key patterning features down to almost the particle size. By fitting theory to experiments, we estimate the relative values of bend and splay elastic constants and wall anchoring. We find that splay is softer than bend for all ρ and rod lengths tested, while the ratio of the average elastic constant to wall anchoring increases with ρ.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number168001
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume105
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - 13 Oct 2010

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