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Nanorods developed in UC Riverside lab could greatly improve visual display of information
Date:3/14/2011

well as biomedical labeling and imaging. Color displays that currently cannot be seen easily in sunlight for example, a laptop screen will be seen more clearly and brightly on devices that utilize the nanorod technology since the rods simply diffract a color from the visible light incident on them.

Study results appear online today (March 14) in Angewandte Chemie. The research will be highlighted on the back cover of an upcoming print issue.

In the lab, Yin and his graduate students Yongxing Hu and Le He initially coated the magnetic iron oxide molecules with a thin layer of silica. Then they applied a magnetic field to assemble the particles into chains. Next, they coated the chains with an additional layer of silica to allow for a silica shell to form around and stabilize the chain structure.

According to the researchers, the timing of magnetic field exposure is critically important to the success of the chain formation because it allows for fine-tuning the "interparticle" spacing the distance between any two particles within photonic chains. They report that the chaining of the magnetic particles needs to be induced by brief exposure to external fields during the silica coating process so that the particles temporarily stay connected, allowing additional silica deposition to then fix the chains into mechanically robust rods or wires.

They also report in the research paper that the interparticle spacing within the chains in a sample can be fine-tuned by adjusting the timing of the magnetic field exposure; the length of the individual chains, which does not affect the color displayed, can be controlled by changing the duration of the magnetic field exposure.

"The photonic nanorods that we developed disperse randomly in solution in the absence of a magnetic field, but align themselves and show diffraction color instantly when an external field is applied," Yin said. "It is the periodic arrangement of
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Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala
iqbal@ucr.edu
951-827-6050
University of California - Riverside
Source:Eurekalert  

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