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J Am Chem Soc. 2014 Mar 26;136(12):4480-3. doi: 10.1021/ja500933h. Epub 2014 Mar 12.

Reversible near-infrared light directed reflection in a self-organized helical superstructure loaded with upconversion nanoparticles.

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  • 1Liquid Crystal Institute and Chemical Physics Interdisciplinary Program, Kent State University , Kent, Ohio 44242, United States.


Adding external, dynamic control to self-organized superstructures with desired functionalities is an important leap necessary in leveraging the fascinating molecular systems for applications. Here, the new light-driven chiral molecular switch and upconversion nanoparticles, doped in a liquid crystal media, were able to self-organize into an optically tunable helical superstructure. The resulting nanoparticle impregnated helical superstructure was found to exhibit unprecedented reversible near-infrared (NIR) light-guided tunable behavior only by modulating the excitation power density of a continuous-wave NIR laser (980 nm). Upon irradiation by the NIR laser at the high power density, the reflection wavelength of the photonic superstructure red-shifted, whereas its reverse process occurred upon irradiation by the same laser but with the lower power density. Furthermore, reversible dynamic NIR-light-driven red, green, and blue reflections in a single thin film, achieved only by varying the power density of the NIR light, were for the first time demonstrated.

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