The Liquid Crystal Group focuses on the relation between the preparation, the optical properties and the structure of cholesteric liquid crystalline materials. There are two research topics :
A cholesteric liquid crystal may reflect the light due to its helical structure. However, the characteristics of the reflection band (wavelength bandwidth and reflectivity) have limits. We found solutions to overcome these limits.
We demonstrate the symbiotic self assembly of gold nanoparticles within a cholesteric liquid crystal, and we report their 2D and 3D arrangements into various cholesteric textures. Potential applications are envisioned in the field of soft nanotechnology and optical materials.
Both topics involve soft nanocomposites, which consist in nano-objects dispersed in situ in the cholesteric liquid crystal : polymer nanofibrils (Polymer-Stabilized Cholesteric Liquid Crystals or cholesteric gels) and gold nanoparticles. The goal is to investigate which novel properties may arise from the interactions between the nano-objects and the liquid crystal, and how the individual properties of both components are revised.