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Langmuir ; 35(49): 16256-16265, 2019 Dec 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31696717


The design of high-performance energy-converting materials is an essential step for the development of sensors, but the production of the bulk materials currently used remains costly and difficult. Therefore, a different approach based on the self-assembly of nanoparticles has been explored. We report on the preparation by solvothermal synthesis of highly crystalline CeF3 nanodiscs. Their surface modification by bisphosphonate ligands led to stable, highly concentrated, colloidal suspensions in water. Despite the low aspect ratio of the nanodiscs (∼6), a liquid-crystalline nematic phase spontaneously appeared in these colloidal suspensions. Thanks to the paramagnetic character of the nanodiscs, the nematic phase was easily aligned by a weak (0.5 T) magnetic field, which provides a simple and convenient way of orienting all of the nanodiscs in suspension in the same direction. Moreover, the more dilute, isotropic, suspensions displayed strong (electric and magnetic) field-induced orientation of the nanodiscs (Kerr and Cotton-Mouton effects), with fast enough response times to make them suitable for use in electro-optic devices. Furthermore, an emission study showed a direct relation between the luminescence intensity and magnetic-field-induced orientation of the colloids. Finally, with their fast radiative recombination decay rates, the nanodiscs show luminescence properties that compare quite favorably with those of bulk CeF3. Therefore, these CeF3 nanodiscs are very promising building blocks for the development and processing of photosensitive materials for sensor applications.

Small ; 12(43): 5981-5988, 2016 Nov.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27626774


When using the bottom-up approach with anisotropic building-blocks, an important goal is to find simple methods to elaborate nanocomposite materials with a truly macroscopic anisotropy. Here, micrometer size colloidal mesoporous particles with a highly anisotropic rod-like shape (aspect ratio ≈ 10) have been fabricated from silica (SiO2 ) and iron oxide (Fe2 O3 ). When dispersed in a solvent, these particles can be easily oriented using a magnetic field (≈200 mT). A macroscopic orientation of the particles is achieved, with their long axis parallel to the field, due to the shape anisotropy of the magnetic component of the particles. The iron oxide nanocrystals are confined inside the porosity and they form columns in the nanochannels. Two different polymorphs of Fe2 O3 iron oxide have been stabilized, the superparamagnetic γ-phase and the rarest multiferroic ε-phase. The phase transformation between these two polymorphs occurs around 900 °C. Because growth occurs under confinement, a preferred crystallographic orientation of iron oxide is obtained, and structural relationships between the two polymorphs are revealed. These findings open completely new possibilities for the design of macroscopically oriented mesoporous nanocomposites, using such strongly anisotropic Fe2 O3 /silica particles. Moreover, in the case of the ε-phase, nanocomposites with original anisotropic magnetic properties are in view.

J Phys Chem B ; 116(25): 7590-5, 2012 Jun 28.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-22621178


Colloidal suspensions of rod-like nanoparticles are well-known to readily form liquid-crystalline phases. Using mineral nanoparticles for this purpose may impart their liquid-crystalline suspensions with original physical properties. We synthesized GdPO(4) nanorods whose aqueous suspensions spontaneously organize in a nematic phase at high concentrations. The nematic phase is very well aligned by small magnetic fields, and the isotropic phase displays a very large field-induced birefringence. Moreover, the nanorods migrate to regions of high magnetic field. On the basis of magnetization measurements, we show that this unusual behavior is due to the fact that GdPO(4) nanorods are actually paramagnetic. Such a paramagnetic mineral liquid crystal, easily synthesized and little sensitive to temperature, may be an interesting alternative to organometallic thermotropic liquid crystals for applications where magnetic field alignment would be more suitable than electric field alignment.