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Issue 5, 2012
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The magnetic assembly of polymer colloids in a ferrofluid and its display applications

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Abstract

Nonmagnetic polymer colloids have been assembled into colloidal photonic crystals in a ferrofluid by applying an external magnetic field based on the dipole–dipole interactions of “magnetic holes”. The photonic crystal disassembles immediately when the magnetic field is removed. The mechanism of assembly can be explained by two simultaneous processes: phase separation and colloidal assembly. In this work, increasing the size of the building blocks still produces colorful photonic crystals due to their 2nd order diffraction. With a larger building block, the magnetic response between the polymer colloids is greatly enhanced so that an instant and reversible assembly/disassembly can be realized in a much weaker magnetic field and lower ferrofluid concentration. Based on these investigations, a magnetically controlled photonic display unit has been fabricated, which works in a weak magnetic field, has stable reflection signals and possesses fast and reversible on/off switching of reflections.

Graphical abstract: The magnetic assembly of polymer colloids in a ferrofluid and its display applications

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Publication details

The article was received on 19 Dec 2011, accepted on 12 Jan 2012 and first published on 17 Jan 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2NR12024K
Citation: Nanoscale, 2012,4, 1598-1605
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    The magnetic assembly of polymer colloids in a ferrofluid and its display applications

    J. Liu, Y. Mao and J. Ge, Nanoscale, 2012, 4, 1598
    DOI: 10.1039/C2NR12024K

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