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Large Area Self-Assembly of Nematic Liquid-Crystal-Functionalized Gold Nanorods

Authors

  • S. Umadevi,

    1. Department of Chemistry, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, R3T 2N2, Canada
    Current affiliation:
    1. Central Electrochemical Research Institute, Karaikudi-630 006, Tamilnadu, India
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  • Xiang Feng,

    1. Department of Chemistry, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, R3T 2N2, Canada
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  • Torsten Hegmann

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemistry, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, R3T 2N2, Canada
    2. Chemical Physics Interdisciplinary Program, Liquid Crystal Institute, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242, USA
    • Chemical Physics Interdisciplinary Program, Liquid Crystal Institute, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242, USA.
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Abstract

Fascinating nematic- and smectic-like self-assembled arrays are observed for gold nanorods partially capped with either laterally or terminally attached nematic liquid crystals upon slow evaporation of an organic solvent on TEM grids. These arrays can be manipulated and reoriented by applying an external magnetic field from quasi-planar to vertical similar to a Fréedericksz transition of common organic nematic liquid crystals. Birefringence and thin film textures of these self-assembled gold nanorod arrays observed by polarized optical microscopy are strongly reminiscent of common organic nematic liquid crystal textures between crossed polarizers and, additionally, support the formation of ordered liquid crystal-like anisotropic superstructures. The ordering within these arrays is also confirmed in bulk samples using small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS).

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