The role of structural anisotropy in the magnetooptical response of an organoferrogel with mobile magnetic nanoparticles†
We investigate the structure and the magnetooptical response of isotropic and anisotropic fibrillous organoferrogels with mobile magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs). We demonstrate that the presence of the gel network restricts the magnetooptical response of the ferrogel. Even though the ferrogel exhibits no magnetic hysteresis, an optical hysteresis has been found. This suggests that the magnetooptical response is primarily determined by the dynamics of self-assembly of the MNPs into shape-anisotropic agglomerates. Furthermore, we show that the optical anisotropy of the system can be fine-tuned by varying the concentration of the gelator and the MNPs, respectively. The optical response in structurally anisotropic gels becomes orientation-dependent, revealing an intricate interplay between the gel mesh and the MNPs.