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Proceedings Paper

Photonic properties of strongly correlated colloidal liquids
Author(s): F. Scheffold; L. F. Rojas; M. Reufer; P. Schurtenberger; A. Stradner; L. Froufe; J. J. Saenz
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Paper Abstract

Colloidal liquids usually appear turbid due to the strong multiple scattering of electromagnetic waves from the particles in suspension. As the concentration increases, particle interactions induce positional correlations which generally lead to a reduced optical density (higher transparency). However, the optical properties of a colloidal liquid can be manipulated by tuning the interaction potential between particles. In the presence of repulsive interactions, colloidal liquids show fascinating photonic properties despite their overall disorder. Short range structural order enhances the scattering strength at certain configurations while at the same time the total light transmission shows strong wavelength dependence, reminiscent of photonic crystals. The tunable optical properties of these photonic liquids suggest potential applications such as transparency switches or improved sunblockers. On the other hand the interplay between order and disorder and the scattering properties of these systems are strikingly similar to those discussed in the transport of electrons in liquid metals. Close to the Bragg condition the transport cross section becomes anisotropic and the transmission coefficient is reduced. In materials with high refractive index mismatch such an effect might open an alternative pathway to localization of light.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 July 2005
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5840, Photonic Materials, Devices, and Applications, (7 July 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.608492
Show Author Affiliations
F. Scheffold, Univ. of Fribourg (Switzerland)
L. F. Rojas, Univ. of Fribourg (Switzerland)
M. Reufer, Univ. of Fribourg (Switzerland)
P. Schurtenberger, Univ. of Fribourg (Switzerland)
A. Stradner, Univ. of Fribourg (Switzerland)
L. Froufe, Univ. Autonoma de Madrid (Spain)
J. J. Saenz, Univ. Autonoma de Madrid (Spain)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5840:
Photonic Materials, Devices, and Applications
Goncal Badenes; Derek Abbott; Ali Serpenguzel, Editor(s)

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