Field-orientable liquid crystal–quantum dot mixtures exhibit electrical–photonic coupling. X. Tong and Y. Zhao* of the University of Sherbrooke (QC) report that dispersing quantum dots within a liquid crystalline (LC) gel capable of electrical alignment produces field-responsive photoluminescence. The authors combined a mixture of classical cyanobiphenyl liquid crystalline materials, a chiral dopant, and Cd–Se–ZnS nanocrystals to produce polymer-immobilized LC blends.
Applying 2.4 V/μm caused otherwise randomly oriented gelated molecules to align. With the field off, the material appeared opaque; applying a potential caused the system to become transparent as the domains oriented, and excited photons went straight through the cell without the random scattering observed when the field was turned off. (J. Am. Chem. Soc.2007,129,6372–6373; David A. Schiraldi