Self-assembly of colloid-cholesteric composites provides a possible route to switchable optical materials

K. Stratford, O. Henrich, J.S. Lintuvuori, M.E. Cates, D. Marenduzzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Colloidal particles dispersed in liquid crystals can form new materials with tunable elastic and electro-optic properties. In a periodic 'blue phase' host, particles should template into colloidal crystals with potential uses in photonics, metamaterials and transformational optics. Here we show by computer simulation that colloid/cholesteric mixtures can give rise to regular crystals, glasses, percolating gels, isolated clusters, twisted rings and undulating colloidal ropes. This structure can be tuned via particle concentration, and by varying the surface interactions of the cholesteric host with both the particles and confining walls. Many of these new materials are metastable: two or more structures can arise under identical thermodynamic conditions. The observed structure depends not only on the formulation protocol but also on the history of an applied electric field. This new class of soft materials should thus be relevant to design of switchable, multistable devices for optical technologies such as smart glass and e-paper.

LanguageEnglish
Article number3954
Pages1-8
Number of pages8
JournalNature Communications
Volume5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2014

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Optical materials
Colloids
optical materials
Self assembly
Glass
colloids
self assembly
routes
Optics and Photonics
Liquid Crystals
Optical Devices
composite materials
Composite materials
Thermodynamics
Computer Simulation
Crystals
Gels
History
Metamaterials
Electrooptical effects

Cite this

Stratford, K. ; Henrich, O. ; Lintuvuori, J.S. ; Cates, M.E. ; Marenduzzo, D. / Self-assembly of colloid-cholesteric composites provides a possible route to switchable optical materials. In: Nature Communications. 2014 ; Vol. 5. pp. 1-8.
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Self-assembly of colloid-cholesteric composites provides a possible route to switchable optical materials. / Stratford, K.; Henrich, O.; Lintuvuori, J.S.; Cates, M.E.; Marenduzzo, D.

In: Nature Communications, Vol. 5, 3954, 18.06.2014, p. 1-8.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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