Liquid Crystalline Order and Electric Switching of Upconversion Luminescence in Colloidal Nanorod Suspensions

Jao Van De Lagemaat, Sungoh Park, Haridas Mundoor, Blaise Fleury, Patrick Davidson, Ivan Smalyukh

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11 Scopus Citations


The polarization-dependent photon upconversion luminescence properties of large-scale orientationally ordered soft matter systems formed by colloidal nanorods dispersed in an isotropic solvent are studied. The electrostatically charged photon-upconverting nanorods form an isotropic dispersion at low concentrations, whereas orientational order and a nematic phase emerge at high concentrations. When an alternating electric field is applied, particles align in the direction of the electric field in both nematic and isotropic phases, though the nature of this electric switching is different in these two phases. Owing to the long-range orientational order in the nematic phase, the upconversion luminescence from the particles is polarized without an external field. Polarization dependence of these properties can also be electrically induced in an isotropic phase of the colloidal nanorods. Further, the dynamics of switching of photon upconversion luminescence in both nematic and isotropic dispersions are explored and their potential technological uses are dicussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number1900041
Number of pages8
JournalAdvanced Optical Materials
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-73053


  • electric switching
  • lyotropic liquid crystals
  • polarized emission
  • upconversion nanoparticles


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