Stabilisation of 2D colloidal assemblies by polymerisation of liquid crystalline matrices for photonic applications
Colloidal crystals in anisotropic matrices are extremely stable and versatile, but disassemble as soon as the anisotropy of the matrix disappears. We present an approach to first custom-assemble colloidal structures and subsequently stabilize them through photo-polymerisation of the liquid crystalline matrix. The resulting 2D colloidal assemblies are stable at high temperatures and can even be obtained as free-standing films without a decrease in the degree of organization. This approach could be used to stabilize and extract recently proposed soft-matter photonic microcircuits based on liquid crystal optical microresonators, microlasers and microfibers, and opens up routes towards real soft matter photonic devices that are stable over extended time and temperatures.