Nematic phase transitions in mixtures of thin and thick colloidal rods

Kirstin R. Purdy, Szabolcs Varga, Amparo Galindo, George Jackson, Seth Fraden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Citations (Scopus)


We report experimental measurements of the phase behavior of mixtures of thin (charged semiflexible f d virus) and thick (f d-PEG, f d virus covalently coated with polyethylene glycol) rods with diameter ratio varying from 3.7 to 1.1. The phase diagrams of the rod mixtures reveal isotropic-nematic, isotropicnematic-nematic, and nematic-nematic coexisting phases with increasing concentration. In stark contrast to predictions from earlier theoretical work, we observe a nematic-nematic coexistence region bound by a lower critical point. Moreover, we show that a rescaled Onsager-type theory for binary hard-rod mixtures qualitatively describes the observed phase behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Article number057801
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Feb 11 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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