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Dispersions of Goethite Nanorods in Aprotic Polar Solvents

Laboratoire Charles Coulomb, CNRS, Université de Montpellier, 34095 Montpellier, France
Laboratoire de Physique des Solides, CNRS, Université Paris-Sud, Université Paris-Saclay, 91405 Orsay Cedex, France
IMT Atlantique, Optics Department, Technopôle Brest-Iroise, CS 83818, 29238 Brest Cedex 3, France
Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ. Paris 06, CNRS, Collège de France, Laboratoire de Chimie de la Matière Condensée de Paris, 4 place Jussieu, 75005 Paris, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2017, 10(10), 1191;
Received: 18 September 2017 / Revised: 12 October 2017 / Accepted: 14 October 2017 / Published: 17 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Designed Colloidal Self-Assembly)
Colloidal suspensions of anisotropic nanoparticles can spontaneously self-organize in liquid-crystalline phases beyond some concentration threshold. These phases often respond to electric and magnetic fields. At lower concentrations, usual isotropic liquids are observed but they can display very strong Kerr and Cotton-Mouton effects (i.e., field-induced particle orientation). For many examples of these colloidal suspensions, the solvent is water, which hinders most electro-optic applications. Here, for goethite (α-FeOOH) nanorod dispersions, we show that water can be replaced by polar aprotic solvents, such as N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) and dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), without loss of colloidal stability. By polarized-light microscopy, small-angle X-ray scattering and electro-optic measurements, we found that the nematic phase, with its field-response properties, is retained. Moreover, a strong Kerr effect was also observed with isotropic goethite suspensions in these polar aprotic solvents. Furthermore, we found no significant difference in the behavior of both the nematic and isotropic phases between the aqueous and non-aqueous dispersions. Our work shows that goethite nanorod suspensions in polar aprotic solvents, suitable for electro-optic applications, can easily be produced and that they keep all their outstanding properties. It also suggests that this solvent replacement method could be extended to the aqueous colloidal suspensions of other kinds of charged anisotropic nanoparticles. View Full-Text
Keywords: liquid crystals; colloids; nanoparticles; electro-optics; X-ray scattering; Kerr effect liquid crystals; colloids; nanoparticles; electro-optics; X-ray scattering; Kerr effect
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MDPI and ACS Style

Coursault, D.; Dozov, I.; Blanc, C.; Nobili, M.; Dupont, L.; Chanéac, C.; Davidson, P. Dispersions of Goethite Nanorods in Aprotic Polar Solvents. Materials 2017, 10, 1191.

AMA Style

Coursault D, Dozov I, Blanc C, Nobili M, Dupont L, Chanéac C, Davidson P. Dispersions of Goethite Nanorods in Aprotic Polar Solvents. Materials. 2017; 10(10):1191.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Coursault, Delphine, Ivan Dozov, Christophe Blanc, Maurizio Nobili, Laurent Dupont, Corinne Chanéac, and Patrick Davidson. 2017. "Dispersions of Goethite Nanorods in Aprotic Polar Solvents" Materials 10, no. 10: 1191.

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