Magnetically Tunable Photonic Crystals In Nonpolar Solvents

Tech ID: 32609 / UC Case 2009-502-0

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 9,862,831 01/09/2018 2009-502

Full Description


Field-responsive photonic structures have important applications in areas such as color display units, biological and chemical sensors, and active optical components. The key to a successful assembly and large tunability in photonic property is establishing long-range repulsive and attractive interactions that can cooperate to order the particles into periodic structures.

Practical applications often require the use of nonaqueous solvents to achieve long-term stability and improved compatibility with device fabrication processes.

Current Invention

Inventors at UCR have been able to successfully achieve the large tunability in photonic property. By introducing charge control agents (AOT) in nonpolar solvents to reduce the energy barrier of charge separation, and thus creating long-range electrostatic repulsive interactions that can counteract the magnetic attraction to allow ordering of superparamagnetic colloids.

Schematic illustration

Schematic illustrations showing the creation of negative charges on the surface of superparamagnetic colloids in nonpolar solvents by introducing charge control agent AOT (left), and the assembly of such charged particles into tunable photonic structures upon application of an external magnetic field (right).


  • Fast and fully reversible optical response to external magnetic field
  • Long term stability in performance
  • Good diffraction intensity

Suggested uses

  • Color display devices
  • Bio and Chemical sensors
  • Active optical components
  • Optical method for scientific research

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Other Information


Colloidal crystals, Displays, Inks, Biosensors, Chemical sensors, Color displays, Active optical components

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