Room temperature self-assembly of mixed nanoparticles into photonic structures

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Journal Article
Nature Communications, 2012, 3
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Manufacturing complex composites and structures using incompatible materials is central to next-generation technologies. In photonics, silica offers passivity, low loss and robustness, making it the ideal material platform for optical transport. However, these properties partly stem from the high-temperature processing conditions necessary for silica waveguide fabrication, restricting the functionalisation of waveguides to robust inorganic dopants. This means for many sensor and active device applications, large numbers of materials are excluded. These include many organic and carbon systems such as dyes and diamond. Here we propose using intermolecular forces to bind nanoparticles together at room temperature and demonstrate the room-temperature self-assembly of long microwires (length ∼7 cm, width ∼10 μm) with and without rhodamine B. Further we report on mixed self-assembly of silica and single-photon-emitting nitrogen-vacancy-containing diamond nanoparticles, opening up a new direction in material science. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.
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