Electrically Switchable Liquid Mirror-Window

  • Author: Charlotte Koschnick
  • Published: 26 September 2017
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
  • Source / Publisher: Nature Materials/Nature Publishing Group and Merck KGaA
thumbnail image: Electrically Switchable Liquid Mirror-Window

Metamaterials are nanocomposite structures which exhibit unusual behaviors that cannot be found in nature. These materials are used to create objects with unique electromagnetic properties for applications in, e.g., antennae, sensors, and superlenses. However, tuning and modulating optical metamaterials in real time remains a challenge.

Anthony R. Kucernak, Joshua B. Edel, and Alexei A. Kornyshev, Imperial College London, UK, and colleagues have developed a reversible electrotuneable window-mirror that emulates either a reflective mirror or a transmissive window depending on the polarity of the applied potential.

The self-assembly/disassembly of functionalized gold nanoparticle anions (ca. 16 nm) at the interface between two immiscible electrolyte solutions is the key to the electrotuneable liquid mirror. A negative polarization of the aqueous phase relative to the organic phase pushes the gold nanoparticles anions towards the interface. A dense monolayer of gold nanoparticles is formed that reflects light due to coupled plasmon resonances. When a positive polarization is applied to the aqueous phase, the nanoparticles disperse from the interface and the material acts as a window.

The team also demonstrated that both the peak reflectance wavelength and reflectance intensity of the liquid mirror can be tuned by changing the applied potential. This is due to a decrease of the interparticle distances of the gold nanoparticles within the formed monolayer with an increased potential. The observed effects were in excellent agreement with theoretical calculations.


Article Views: 1315

Sign in Area

Please sign in below

Additional Sign In options

Please note that to comment on an article you must be registered and logged in.
Registration is for free, you may already be registered to receive, e.g., the newsletter. When you register on this website, please ensure you view our terms and conditions. All comments are subject to moderation.

Article Comments - To add a comment please sign in

If you would like to reuse any content, in print or online, from ChemistryViews.org, please contact us first for permission. more

Follow on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on LinkedIn Follow on Instagram RSS Sign up for newsletters

Magazine of Chemistry Europe (16 European Chemical Societies) published by Wiley-VCH