Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

New ways with liquid crystals

Researchers have developed new techniques to manipulate crystalline structures, giving them control over light travelling through these materials.
New ways with liquid crystals
The new field of photonics uses advanced crystalline materials (like colloidal crystals and liquid crystals) to bend electromagnetic waves in new directions. If the property of these materials can be controlled, it will pave the way for a new era of light-driven computing.

The EU-funded NEMCODE (Controlled assembly and stabilisation of functionalised colloids in nematic liquid crystals) initiative aimed to create methods to introduce imperfections into these crystals in a controlled way. This would allow the crystals to guide light selectively, for photonics applications.

Researchers developed new ways to stabilise colloidal crystals within a liquid crystal matrix, allowing a network of polymers with the properties of the liquid crystal. Stability is a common problem within these crystal structures, which this technique addresses.

NEMCODE also created a new method to control the surface memory of liquid crystals, useful in manufacturing liquid crystal display screens. Researchers are currently applying for a patent for this technique.

By figuring out ways to stabilise and control these advanced crystalline materials, this initiative has provided researchers and manufacturers with new tools. NEMCODE research breakthroughs will have a far-reaching impact on the nascent field of photonics.

Related information

Keywords

Liquid crystals, photonics, crystalline materials, colloidal crystals
Record Number: 181029 / Last updated on: 2016-04-14
Domain: Industrial Technologies
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