Device-scale thin films of highly oriented (in-plane) colloidal nanorods are made available by using a simple coating process involving thixotropic rod gel suspensions. Application of this process to LaPO4 nanorods leads to films exhibiting outstanding anisotropic optical properties, such as a remarkably large birefringence (Δn = 0.13) associated with high transparency, and sharply polarized fluorescence spectra when doped with europium.
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