Dielectrophoretic assembly of oriented and switchable two-dimensional photonic crystals

Lumsdon, Simon O.; Kaler, Eric W.; Williams, Jacob P.; Velev, Orlin D.
February 2003
Applied Physics Letters;2/10/2003, Vol. 82 Issue 6, p949
Academic Journal
We show that one- and two-dimensional crystals can be assembled from suspensions of latex or silica microspheres subjected to an alternating electric field in a gap between planar electrodes on a surface. These crystals, with areas above 25 mm², are specifically oriented without the need for micropatterned templates. The order-disorder transitions take place within seconds and can be repeated tens of times by switching the field on and off. The particles accumulate on the surface between the electrodes due to the field gradient, align into rows along the field direction, and then crystallize into hexagonal arrays. The lattice spacings can be controlled via the electrostatic repulsion.


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