We investigated the physical properties of low concentration ferroelectric nematic colloids, using calorimetry, optical methods, infrared spectroscopy, and capacitance studies. The resulting homogeneous colloids possess a significantly amplified nematic orientational coupling. We find that the nematic orientation coupling increases by similar to 10% for particle concentrations of 0.2%. A manifestation of the increased orientational order is that the clearing temperature of a nematic colloid increases by up to 40 degrees C compared to the pure liquid crystal host. A theoretical model is proposed in which the ferroelectric particles induce local dipoles whose effective interaction is proportional to the square of the orientational order parameter.
We report on the development of a dilute suspension of ferroelectric particles in a nematic liquid-crystal(LC) host. We found that the submicron particles do not disturb the LC alignment and the suspension macroscopically appears similar to a pure LC with no readily apparent evidence of dissolved particles. The suspension possesses enhanced dielectricanisotropy, and is sensitive to the sign of an applied electric field.