Microfluidic fabrication of cholesteric liquid crystal core–shell structures toward magnetically transportable microlasers†
We report a magnetically transportable microlaser with cholesteric liquid crystal (CLC) core–shell structure, operating in band-edge mode. The dye doped CLC shells as a water-in-oil-in-water (W/O/W) double emulsion were fabricated by microfluidics. Water-dispersible Fe3O4 magnetic nanoparticles were incorporated in the inner aqueous phase by taking advantage of the immiscibility with the middle CLC oil phase. The influence of temperature and shell thickness on laser properties was discussed in detail. The non-invasive manipulation of microlasers was realized under a magnetic field. The dependence of velocity on the viscosity of the carrying fluid and size of the core–shell structure was theoretically analyzed and experimentally investigated using a prototype electromagnetic platform. We also discussed the design principles for this type of DDCLC core–shell structure. Such magnetically transportable microlasers offer promise in in-channel illumination applications requiring active control inside micro-channels.