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Issue 42, 2008
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Magnetically responsive colloidal photonic crystals

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Magnetically responsive colloidal photonic crystals have been fabricated by using highly charged superparamagnetic Fe3O4 colloidal nanocrystal clusters (CNCs) as the building blocks. The colloids form chainlike structures with regular interparticle spacing of a few hundred nanometers along the external field so that the system strongly diffracts light. The diffraction wavelength can be tuned across the entire visible spectrum by simply changing the strength of the magnetic field. The fast and reversible response suggests great potential of these photonic materials in applications such as displays and sensors. Further modification of the Fe3O4 CNCs with silica coating allows the dispersion of the particles in nonaqueous solutions. The modified particles also self-assemble into ordered structures in alcohol solvents under an external magnetic field. Embedding droplets of such a colloidal solution in a polymer matrix produces solid composite materials with magnetically responsive optical properties.

Graphical abstract: Magnetically responsive colloidal photonic crystals

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Publication details

The article was received on 11 Jun 2008, accepted on 30 Jul 2008 and first published on 08 Sep 2008

Article type: Highlight
DOI: 10.1039/B809958H
Citation: J. Mater. Chem., 2008,18, 5041-5045

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    Magnetically responsive colloidal photonic crystals

    J. Ge and Y. Yin, J. Mater. Chem., 2008, 18, 5041
    DOI: 10.1039/B809958H

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