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J Am Chem Soc. 2009 Nov 4;131(43):15687-94. doi: 10.1021/ja903626h.

Magnetochromatic microspheres: rotating photonic crystals.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of California, Riverside, California 92521, USA.

Abstract

Magnetochromatic microspheres have been fabricated through instant assembly of superparamagnetic (SPM) colloidal particles inside emulsion droplets of UV curable resin followed by an immediate UV curing process to polymerize the droplets and fix the ordered structures. When dispersed in the liquid droplets, superparamagnetic Fe(3)O(4)@SiO(2) core/shell particles self-organize under the balanced interaction of repulsive and attractive forces to form one-dimensional chains, each of which contains periodically arranged particles diffracting visible light and displaying field-tunable colors. UV initiated polymerization of the oligomers of the resin fixes the periodic structures inside the droplet microspheres and retains the diffraction property. Because the superparamagnetic chains tend to align themselves along the field direction, it is very convenient to control the orientation of such photonic microspheres and, accordingly, their diffractive colors, by changing the orientation of the crystal lattice relative to the incident light using magnetic fields. The excellent stability together with the capability of fast on/off switching of the diffraction by magnetic fields makes the system suitable for applications such as color display, rewritable signage, and sensors. As a simple demonstration, we have fabricated a display unit that has on/off bistable states by embedding the magnetochromatic microspheres in a matrix that can thermally switch between solid and liquid phases.

PMID:
19527049
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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