Growth of Colloidal Nanoplate Liquid Crystals Using Temperature Gradients Academic Article uri icon


  • Controlling colloidal self-assemblies using external forces is essential to develop modern electro-optical and biomedical devices. Importantly, shape anisotropic colloids can provide optical properties such as birefringence. Here we demonstrate that external temperature gradients can be effective in controlling nematic liquid crystalline (LC) order in suspensions of plate-like colloids also known as nanoplates. Nanoplates, in an isotropic suspension, wherein their orientations are random, could be effectively moved using a temperature gradient environment causing a phase transition to LC nematic phase. Such controllably formed nematic phase featured large nematic monodomains and enabled topologically more stable structures that were evident from the absence of hedgehog-type defects which are typically found in nematics formed spontaneously via nucleation and growth mechanism in a sufficiently high concentration suspension of nanoplates. Due to their high surface area-to-volume ratio and excellent thermophoretic properties, nanoplates can prove to be ideal candidates for transport of biomolecules through temperature varying environments.

author list (cited authors)

  • Shinde, A., Huang, D., Saldivar, M., Xu, H., Zeng, M., Okeibunor, U., ... Cheng, Z.

complete list of authors

  • Shinde, Abhijeet||Huang, Dali||Saldivar, Mariela||Xu, Hongfei||Zeng, Minxiang||Okeibunor, Ugochukwu||Wang, Ling||Mejia, Carlos||Tin, Padetha||George, Sasha||Zhang, Lecheng||Cheng, Zhengdong

publication date

  • January 2019