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4 May 2007 Self-assembly in nematic colloids
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The ability to generate regular spatial arrangements of particles on different length scales is one of the central issues of the "bottom-up" approach in nanotechnology. Current techniques rely on single atom or molecule manipulation by the STM, colloidal particle manipulation by laser or optoelectronic tweezers, microfluidics, optofluidics, micromanipulation and classical lithography. Of particular interest is self-assembly, where the pre-determined spatial arrangements of particles, such as 3D photonic crystals, could be realized spontaneously. Dispersions of particles in liquid crystals show several novel classes of anisotropic forces between inclusions, which result in an amazing diversity of self-assembled patterns, such as linear chains and 2D photonic crystals of microspheres. The forces between the particles in nematic colloids are extremely strong and long-range, resulting in several thousand times stronger binding compared to the binding in water based colloids. The mechanisms of self-assembly in nematic colloids are discussed, showing this is a novel paradigm in colloidal science, which can lead to new approaches in colloidal self-assembly for photonic devices.
© (2007) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Igor Muševič, Miha Škarabot, Miha Ravnik, Uroš Tkalec, Igor Poberaj, Dušan Babič, and Slobodan Žumer "Self-assembly in nematic colloids", Proc. SPIE 6587, Liquid Crystals and Applications in Optics, 658704 (4 May 2007);

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