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Quantum dot/liquid crystal composite materials: Self-assembly driven by liquid crystal phase transition templating

  • Author(s): Rodarte, AL
  • Pandolfi, RJ
  • Ghosh, S
  • Hirst, LS
  • et al.
Abstract

The isotropic to nematic liquid crystal (LC) phase transition is used to create organized assemblies of CdSe/ZnS core/shell quantum dots (QDs). Under controlled conditions, well dispersed QDs are expelled from the ordered domains of nematic LC into the remaining isotropic domains. The final LC phase produces three dimensional QD assemblies that are situated at the defect points in the LC volume. Through the luminescence of the QDs we are able to track the movement of the nanoparticles as the phase is formed as well as spectrally probe the resulting QD assemblies. Forster resonance energy transfer (FRET) measurements, combined with small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) data reveal that the QD assemblies have a consistent inter-particle spacing of approximately 7.6 nm. Additionally, the location of the assemblies is shown to be controllable by utilizing beads as defect nucleation points. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2013.

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