Nematic liquid crystals used to control photo-thermal effects in gold nanoparticles

Luigia Pezzi, Luciano De Sio, Giovanna Palermo, Alessandro Veltri, Tiziana Placido, Maria Lucia Curri, Nelson Tabiryan, Cesare Umeton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We report on photo-thermal effects observed in gold nanoparticles (GNPs) dispersed in Nematic Liquid Crystals (NLCs). Under a suitable optical radiation, GNPs exhibit a strong light absorption/scattering; the effect depends on the refractive index of the medium surrounding the nanoparticles, which can be electrically or optically tuned. In this way, the system represents an ideal nano-source of heat, remotely controllable by light to adjust the temperature at the nanoscale. Photo-induced temperature variations in GNPs dispersed in NLCs have been investigated by implementing a theoretical model based on the thermal heating equation applied to an anisotropic medium; theoretical predictions have been compared with results of experiments carried out in a NLC medium hosting GNPs. Both theory and experiments represent a step forward to understand the physics of heat production at the nanoscale, with applications that range from photonics to nanomedicine.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmerging Liquid Crystal Technologies XI
EditorsNelson V. Tabiryan, Hirotsugu Kikuchi, Dick J. Broer, Liang-Chy Chien
ISBN (Electronic)9781510600041
StatePublished - 2016
EventEmerging Liquid Crystal Technologies XI - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 16 Feb 201617 Feb 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceEmerging Liquid Crystal Technologies XI
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • NLC
  • Nanoparticles
  • thermal effect


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