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Home Material Sciences Nano-composite nonlinear optical materials based on ionic liquid crystals and anisotropic glasses of metal alkanoates

Nano-composite nonlinear optical materials based on ionic liquid crystals and anisotropic glasses of metal alkanoates


New nano-structured nonlinear optical materials were obtained on the basis of ionic liquid crystals and anisotropic glasses of pure metal alkanoates as well as with doping by different electro-photosensitive organic and inorganic additives.

Salts of metal alkanoates possess a common structural formula (CnH2n+1COO)-kMe+k, where Me+k (k=1,2,3) is a metal-cation (for instance, K+1, Li+1, Na+1, Tl+1, Cs+1, Co+2, Cd+2, Zn+2, Pb+2, Mg+2, La+3, Nd+3, Eu+3). Metal alkanoate salts could from lyotropic and thermotropic ionic liquid crystals and anisotropic glasses at room temperatures as well.

The techniques for fabrication of the following cells have been developed:

I. Anisotropic glasses of Cd alkanoates comprising CdS quantum dots.

II. Colored anisotropic glasses of Co alkanoates as well as binary and ternary mixtures of metal alkanoates containing Co alkanoate.

III. Anisotropic glasses of La kapronate doped with ionic or neutral polymethine dyes.

IV. Bi-layered nano-composites: nano-sized dye film / lyotropic ionic liquid crystals.

V. Lyotropic ionic liquid crystals with electrochromic viologenes – bi-layered cells with an electro-photosensitive nano-film.

New materials manifest fast nonlinear optical response accompanied with small thermal effects within the light absorption range. The values of the cubic nonlinear optical susceptibility obtained for different photosensitive centers appeared to be χ(3)~4*10-7...10-9 esu (cells II – V) with pico- and nanosecond response times. Relaxation characteristic time of residual thermal holographic gratings was within ~30 ÷ 100 μs.

Innovative Aspect and Main Advantages

  • Nonlinear optical characteristics (cubic susceptibility, response time, photosensitivity and spatial resolution) of new nano-composite materials based on metal alkanoates appeared to be on the level of the best known media made with semiconductors, polymers or glasses.
  • Chemical synthesis of these nano-composite materials is much cheaper and simpler than that of other thin-film materials possessing the fast nonlinear optical response.
  • Possibility of utilization of different photosensitive dopants (both organic and inorganic) in the matrix of metal alkanoates due to the unique amphiphilic molecular properties of the latter.
  • Self-organization of semiconducting CdS quantum dots takes place in ionic liquid crystalline matrix during the chemical synthesis.
  • Possibility to create multi-functional bi-layered cells with photosensitive nano-films of viologene reduction products, providing the reversible coloring under the electric field action.
  • Negligible role of thermal effects in nano-composite materials on the base of metal alkanoates matrices.
  • Wide range of the cell spacing – from units till hundreds of microns.

Areas of Application

New nano-composite materials are promising for application as the elementary basis in devices for high-speed photonics, real time holography/interferometry, nonlinear optical information processing, optical switches and sensors, electro-photochromic light filters and modulators.

Model of nano-composit structure
Fig. 1 Model of nano-composit structure of Cd2+(C7H15COO)-2+6%CdS (nano-crystal diameter D=23.9 A)

Stage of Development

  • Technologies for fabrication of different nano-composite cells were developed.
  • The fundamental studies of the structure and properties of new materials have been fulfilled.

Contact Details

V.I.Vernadskii Institute of General and Inorganic Chemistry, NAN of Ukraine
32/34 Palladin ave., Kiev 03680 Ukraine
Prof. Tatayana Mirnaya
tel.: +38-044-424-32-11
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Institute of Physics, NAN of Ukraine
46 Prospect Nauki, Kiev 03028 Ukraine
Prof. Gertruda V.Klimusheva
tel.: +38-044-525-7841
fax.: +38-044-525-1589
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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