Optically Anisotropic Colloids of Controllable Shape


  • We acknowledge discussions with G. P. Crawford, I. Amimori, and D. R. Link. This work was supported by NASA (NAG3-2381). A. F.-N. is grateful to Ministerio de Educacion, Cultura y Deporte for support under grant number EX2001-44250458, to the University of Almería for allowing his leave of absence, and to Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología for project MAT2001-2767. V. G.-C. and K. D. thank the European Science Foundation for support.


original image

Solid spheres, disks, and ellipsoids with micrometer-scale bipolar anisotropic character respond to external electric fields by aligning their mean optical axes parallel to the field. The monodisperse, optically anisotropic colloids (see Figure) are synthesized by photopolymerization of a monodisperse liquid-crystal emulsion after mechanical deformation of the drops.