Optically Anisotropic Colloids of Controllable Shape

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Wiki entry by Emily Gehrels, Fall 2012 Based on the article: Fernández-Nieves, A., Cristobal, G., Garcés-Chávez, V., Spalding, G.C., Dholakia, K., Weitz, D.A. (2005). "Optically Anisotropic Colloids of Controllable Shape." Adv. Mater., vol. 17 no. 6 pp. 680-684.


A colloidal suspension occurs when identical, small (1-1000 nm), solid objects are suspended in a liquid. Objects are optically anisotropic if they react differently to light of different polarizations. This is also known as birefringence and results from a material having different refractive index depending on the polarization of incoming light. This paper deals with monodisperse optically anisotropic colloids of different shapes. Optically anisotropic colloids are of interest because of their ability to be manipulated with external light such as that used in optical tweezers.