Quantum Dot/Liquid Crystal Nanocomposites in Photonic Devices Rodarte, Andrea L.; Cisneros, Fredy; Hein, Jason E.; Ghosh, Sayantani; Hirst, Linda S.
Quantum dot/liquid crystal nano-composites are promising new materials for a variety of applications in energy harvesting, displays and photonics including the liquid crystal laser. To realize many applications, however, we need to control and stabilize nano-particle dispersion in different liquid crystal host phases and understand how the particles behave in an anisotropic fluid. An ideal system will allow for the controlled assembly of either well-defined nano-particle clusters or a uniform particle distribution. In this paper, we investigate mesogen-functionalized quantum dots for dispersion in cholesteric liquid crystal. These nanoparticles are known to assemble into dense stable packings in the nematic phase, and such structures, when localized in the liquid crystal defects, can potentially enhance the coupling between particles and a cholesteric cavity. Controlling the dispersion and assembly of quantum dots using mesogenic surface ligands, we demonstrate how resonant fluid photonic cavities can result from the co-assembly of luminescent nanoparticles in the presence of cholesteric liquid crystalline ordering.
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