We have studied the dynamics of micrometer-sized colloidal particles in electrohydrodynamic convection of nematic liquid crystal. Above the onset voltage of electroconvection, the parallel array of convection rolls appears to be perpendicular to the nematic field at first. The particles are forced to rotate by convection flow and are trapped within a single roll in this voltage regime. A slow glide motion along the roll axis is also observed. The frequency of rotational motion and the glide velocity increase with the applied voltage. Under a much larger voltage where the roll axis temporally fluctuates, the particles occasionally hop to the neighbor rolls. In this voltage regime, the motion of the particles becomes two-dimensional. The motion perpendicular to the roll axis exhibits diffusion behavior at a long time period. The effective diffusion constant is 103-104 times larger than the molecular one. The observed behavior is compared with the result obtained by a simple stochastic model for the transport of the particles in convection. The enhancement of diffusion can be quantitatively described well by the rotation frequency in a roll, the width of the roll, and the hopping probability to the neighbor rolls.
|Journal||Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2 2014|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability
- Condensed Matter Physics