Towards an Understanding of Nanoparticle–Chiral Nematic Liquid Crystal Co-Assembly



The fabrication of a one-dimensional photonic crystal without time-reversal and space-inversion symmetries was pursued. Theoretical studies predict that such a system would exhibit unusual optical properties, including indirect photonic bandgaps and backward wave propagating eigenmodes. Such a system can be created experimentally by combing magnetooptical nanoparticles with a chiral nematic liquid crystal. The manner in which nanoparticles co-assemble with a chiral nematic liquid crystal was investigated. It was determined that the addition of nanoparticles to a 5CB-COC system disrupts the system's helical structure. This disruption lowers the system's phase transition temperatures and inhibits the system's ability to form reflectivity peaks.