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See detailCholesteric Liquid Crystal Shells as Enabling Material for Information-Rich Design and Architecture.
Schwartz, Mathew; Lenzini, Gabriele UL; Geng, Yong UL et al

in Advanced Materials (2018)

The responsive and dynamic character of liquid crystals (LCs), arising from their ability to self-organize into long-range ordered structures while maintaining fluidity, has given them a role as key ... [more ▼]

The responsive and dynamic character of liquid crystals (LCs), arising from their ability to self-organize into long-range ordered structures while maintaining fluidity, has given them a role as key enabling materials in the information technology that surrounds us today. Ongoing research hints at future LC-based technologies of entirely different types, for instance by taking advantage of the peculiar behavior of cholesteric liquid crystals (CLCs) subject to curvature. Spherical shells of CLC reflect light omnidirectionally with specific polarization and wavelength, tunable from the UV to the infrared (IR) range, with complex patterns arising when many of them are brought together. Here, these properties are analyzed and explained, and future application opportunities from an inter- disciplinary standpoint are discussed. By incorporating arrangements of CLC shells in smart facades or vehicle coatings, or in objects of high value subject to counterfeiting, game-changing future uses might arise in fields spanning infor- mation security, design, and architecture. The focus here is on the challenges of a digitized and information-rich future society where humans increasingly rely on technology and share their space with autonomous vehicles, drones, and robots. [less ▲]

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See detailConductivity and Local Structure of LaNiO3 Thin Films
Fowlie, Jennifer; Gibert, Marta; Tieri, Giulio et al

in ADVANCED MATERIALS (2017), 29(18),

A marked conductivity enhancement is reported in 6-11 unit cell LaNiO3 thin films. A maximal conductivity is also observed in ab initio calculations for films of the same thickness. In agreement with ... [more ▼]

A marked conductivity enhancement is reported in 6-11 unit cell LaNiO3 thin films. A maximal conductivity is also observed in ab initio calculations for films of the same thickness. In agreement with results from state of the art scanning transmission electron microscopy, the calculations also reveal a differentiated film structure comprising characteristic surface, interior, and heterointerface structures. Based on this observation, a three-element parallel conductor model is considered and leads to the conclusion that the conductivity enhancement for films of 6-11 unit cells, stems from the onset of intercompetition between the three local structures in the film depth. [less ▲]

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See detailTaming Liquid Crystal Self-Assembly: The Multifaceted Response of Nematic and Smectic Shells to Polymerization.
Noh, Junghyun UL; henx, Benjamin; Lagerwall, Jan UL

in Advanced Materials (2016)

By photopolymerizing liquid crystal shells, their rich variety of self-assembled structures can be rendered permanent and the lifetime extended from days to months, without removing the characteristic ... [more ▼]

By photopolymerizing liquid crystal shells, their rich variety of self-assembled structures can be rendered permanent and the lifetime extended from days to months, without removing the characteristic responsiveness. If polymerization is carried out close to either boundary of the nematic phase, the process triggers the transition into the adjacent phase, to higher or to lower degree of order. [less ▲]

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See detailPhotovoltaics with Ferroelectrics: Current Status and Beyond
Paillard, Charles; Bai, Xiaofei; Infante, Ingrid C. et al

in ADVANCED MATERIALS (2016), 28(26), 5153-5168

Ferroelectrics carry a switchable spontaneous electric polarization. This polarization is usually coupled to strain, making ferroelectrics good piezoelectrics. When coupled to magnetism, they become so ... [more ▼]

Ferroelectrics carry a switchable spontaneous electric polarization. This polarization is usually coupled to strain, making ferroelectrics good piezoelectrics. When coupled to magnetism, they become so-called multiferroic systems, a fi eld that has been widely investigated since 2003. While ferroelectrics are birefringent and non-linear optically transparent materials, the coupling of polarization with optical properties has received, since 2009, renewed attention, triggered notably by low-bandgap ferroelectrics suitable for sunlight spectrum absorption and original photovoltaic effects. Consequently, power conversion effi ciencies up to 8.1 were recently achieved and values of 19.5 were predicted, making photoferroelectrics promising photovoltaic alternatives. This article aims at providing an up-to-date review on this emerging and rapidly progressing fi eld by highlighting several important issues and parameters, such as the role of domain walls, ways to tune the bandgap, consequences arising from the polarization switchability, and the role of defects and contact electrodes, as well as the downscaling effects. Beyond photovoltaicity other polarization-related processes are also described, like light-induced deformation (photostriction) or light-assisted chemical reaction (photostriction). It is hoped that this overview will encourage further avenues to be explored and challenged and, as a byproduct, will inspire other research communities in material science, e.g., so-called hybrid halide perovskites. [less ▲]

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See detailNanotube alignment using lyotropic liquid crystals
Lagerwall, Jan UL; Scalia, G.; Haluska, Miroslav et al

in Advanced Materials (2007), 19(3), 359-364

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