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.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/john_west/17/