Influence of particle shape on the nematic - isotropic transition of colloidal platelet systems
We study the nematic–isotropic transition in model colloidal systems composed of platelets of various shapes using grand canonical simulations. This is of relevance for recently synthesized hard platelet systems, since the platelets in such systems are found to be not circular but irregular hexagons, and so cannot be described by the simulation data currently available. We show that the coexistence densities scale with an effective volume related to the isotropic orientation-averaged excluded volume of a pair of platelets. This excluded volume can be obtained from the perimeter of the face of the particles and so can be easily calculated for both regular and irregular particle shapes.