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Issue 126, 2015
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Counterintuitive increase in optical scattering efficiency during negentropic orientational transition in dilute ZnO nanowire suspensions

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Abstract

We demonstrate experimentally that the electrophoretic manipulation of a ZnO nanowire (NW) suspension in polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) causes a remarkable change in optical scattering. Counterintuitively, as an electric field is applied to the suspension and a negentropic orientational transition from a chaotically oriented state to a partially ordered (aligned) state is induced, the geometrical cross-section of the particles decreases whereas the scattering efficiency increases significantly, indicating an increase in the scattering cross-section. The alignment of the longer axis of oblong ZnO nanoparticles in the direction of incident light unexpectedly resulted in up to a 40% decrease in transmittance in the middle of the visible spectral range in the case of 150 μm thick composite films with below 0.1 vol% NW concentration. A prepared prototype smart window device exhibited spontaneous restoration of transmittance, persistent electro-optical performance (0% change in contrast after more than 10 cycles), and temporal stability against nanoparticle sedimentation and agglomeration.

Graphical abstract: Counterintuitive increase in optical scattering efficiency during negentropic orientational transition in dilute ZnO nanowire suspensions

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Article information


Submitted
26 Oct 2015
Accepted
21 Nov 2015
First published
24 Nov 2015

RSC Adv., 2015,5, 104149-104154
Article type
Paper

Counterintuitive increase in optical scattering efficiency during negentropic orientational transition in dilute ZnO nanowire suspensions

A. Šutka, M. Timusk, M. Järvekülg, A. Loot, U. Joost, R. Lõhmus and K. Saal, RSC Adv., 2015, 5, 104149
DOI: 10.1039/C5RA22448A

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